No care for corona infestation… “Super-dense” interior photos of an extreme overseas prison. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

No care for corona infestation… “Super-dense” interior photos of an extreme overseas prison.

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Prison “supercrowded” photo from El Salvador released in March of this year (Image: SALVADOREAN PRESIDENCY/AFP/Afro)

Countless men are seated with little space between them and the people around them. All are naked on top of their bodies, with their raised hands on the back of their heads. Some of them have tattoos all over their bodies.

This is an interior view of the Eastern Ciudad Barrios Prison, released by the presidential office of El Salvador on March 28 (first image). In El Salvador, the war between criminal gangs has intensified to the point that more than 60 people died in a single day. President Ortez has declared a state of emergency and stepped up crackdowns.

Pictured are members of the well-known Central American gangs Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. Each has more than 30,000 members. They are a nefarious organization that is involved in drug trafficking, robbery, murder, human trafficking, rape, and any other crime. President Ortez is thoroughly prosecuting the members of these gangs, believing that without their elimination, it will be impossible to maintain public order.

The number of gang members in prison is more than 10 times the capacity. There are many problems.

Sanitary conditions are at their worst. The supply of disinfectant and soap is inadequate, and powerful infectious diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever often spread. There are too many people to contain, and we are not in a position to care for the health of the imprisoned prisoners.

The international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, has warned that “prisons and juvenile detention centers in Latin America are unsanitary and overcrowded,” but the anxiety is real. At Izalco Prison in the capital city of San Salvador, a new type of coronavirus has spread, infecting more than 300 of the approximately 1,100 prisoners serving their sentences.

A means of gaining popularity for the president.

Izalco Prison in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Most prisoners are wearing masks, but they appear to be ineffective; photo taken in April 2008.

It is not only prisons in Latin America that are “supercrowded. The situation is dire in Asia as well. The Philippines is a prime example.

In some prisons, 4,000 people are housed in cells with a capacity of 300, and it is commonplace for more than 130 people to be crammed into a cell that holds 30. According to a report by the U.S. media outlet CNN, one in five prisoners dies from disease or from fights between inmates. It is said that more than 5,000 people lose their lives in prison each year.

Each country has its own circumstances that lead to overcrowded prisons. Military journalist Buntaro Kuroi, an expert on the crime situation, explains.

In the Philippines, President Duterte is very enthusiastic about the detection of criminals. Before assuming office, President Duterte served for a long time as mayor of Davao City, which was known as a ‘den of criminals. He gained nationwide popularity by arresting criminals one by one and focusing on strengthening security.

Even after becoming president, he confronted gang groups with an ultra-legal attitude. Even for minor offenses like shoplifting, he sent suspects to jail. It appears that he is using prison as a means of gaining popularity for himself.

When President Duterte was mayor, he personally rode a large motorcycle to patrol alleys where incidents might occur. He shot and killed criminals when he found them, and once threw a rape suspect from a helicopter, according to an interview with Reuters in October 2004.

The situation in Latin America seems to be a little different from that in the Philippines. Mr. Kuroi continues.

Gangs are very powerful. In some countries, the gangs have been rounded up by the gangs. In order for the government to maintain its leadership position in the country, it has no choice but to resort to strong-arm tactics. El Salvador is a prime example.”

Japanese people cannot even begin to imagine the violent crime situation overseas. It seems that public safety cannot be maintained by worrying about coronas and sanitary conditions.

Prisoners in El Salvador, confined to their cells. Corona is rampant in the prison.
Prisons in the Philippines are also overcrowded. It is difficult to secure a space to sleep. Photo taken in October 2004.
Some prisoners in the Philippines sleep directly on the floor because there are no beds available. Photo taken in October 2004
Izalco Prison in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Some prisoners are wearing masks, but they do not seem to be very effective.
Prison in El Salvador with poor sanitary conditions, taken in April 2008.

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