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International News: Following Bukele? Honduras aims to build 20,000-capacity ‘megaprison’ for gang members

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2024. 2:35 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Recently, Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced the construction of a new 20,000-capacity “megaprison,” part of the government’s larger crackdown on gang violence and efforts to overhaul its long-troubled prison system.

According to the Associated Press, the announcement of the new prison came as the Honduran President announced plans to strengthen the military’s role in fighting organized crime, prosecute drug traffickers as terrorists and build new facilities to ease overcrowding.

Following the announcement, analysts noted that the “megaprison” mirror those of President Nayib Bukele in neighboring El Salvador, who has built the largest prison in Latin America — a 40,000-capacity facility.

Honduran security forces must “urgently carry out interventions” in all parts of the country now witnessing “the highest rates of gang violence, drug trafficking, money laundering” and other crimes, Castro said.

Raids have driven up the Honduran prison population to 19,500 inmates, crammed into a system designed for 13,000.

 

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