El Salvador is on guard against the maras. After a wave of killings in the country since last Friday, the government headed by Nayib Bukele has instructed the Directorate of Penal Centres to decree a state of maximum emergency in the prisons. This means, among other things, that none of the prisoners will be allowed to leave their cells as they do every day or to circulate in corridors and courtyards inside the prison. In addition, the authorities will mix up rival gang members inside the same cell.
The Executive has detected that there have been orders coming from the prisons with gang members in custody to increase the number of homicides, so it issued a total 24-hour lockdown without contact with the outside in each prison. Osiris Luna, general director of the Penal Centers, announced that they are finishing “the cells of the same gang” and ordered to mix “all the cirminal groups in the same one”, so members of different gangs of the so called Mara Salvatrucha were gathered.
“The ringleaders will go to solitary confinement. No contact with the outside world. The prison shops will remain closed and all activities are suspended until further notice,” Bukele said on Twitter. The National Civil Police “will not rest until those responsible are found,” he said.