- BBC News World
They apparently have a similar goal, but their approaches are diametrically opposed.
Presidents of Colombia, Gustavo Pedroand from El Salvador, Naeeb BukheleThe Twitter spat resulted from the former’s criticism of a high-security mega-prison built to house detained gang members in El Salvador.
At the beginning of February, Bugel opened a prison called “The Center for the Prison of Terrorism”, whose capacity -according to him- Allows housing up to 40,000 inmates.
Three weeks later, the government of El Salvador released a video showing the first 2,000 inmates being transferred to the prison. In Pictures It seems For prisoners in UnderwearWithout shoes or shirt, with a shaved head, handcuffed and chained by the hands and feet.
This Wednesday, during a public event in Colombia, Pedro mentioned these images.
“You can see on the networks the terrible photos of the concentration camp in El Salvador – of the concentration camp in El Salvador, thousands and thousands of young people, imprisoned, it gives one chills. I think there are people. “He likes it, no doubt. Looking at the youth in prisons, they believe this is security. And the popularity will rise, without a doubt, and we are experiencing it in Colombia as well,” Pedro said.
He later added: “The president of El Salvador is proud because he reduced the homicide rate by subduing the gangs that are in those prisons today – in my opinion – terrible.”
Pedro promised to do the same in Colombia, but with a different strategy.
“For us We have been able to reduce the rate of murder, crime and violence, not from prisons, but from universities“Schools are places for dialogue, places for the poor to stop being poor,” he said.
Later, in a message on Twitter that included a video with parts of Pedro’s speech, Bugel wrote a post to the Colombian president.
Bukhel’s government rules under a state of emergency imposed from March 2022, which has made it possible to detain 60,000 suspected gang members, according to official figures, but has been criticized by human rights groups. Among other potential violations.
The Bogota Experience
In response to Bookel, Pedro posted another tweet in which he said Bogotá’s rate of murders will go from 90 murders per 100,000 people in 1993 to 13 murders per 100,000 people in 2022.
“We didn’t build prisons, we built universities. It is good to compare experiences. I propose an international forum,” he added.
But Buchel questioned Pedro’s responsibility for the decline and that it wasn’t all Colombia’s statistics.
“Since 1993? 30 years… 30 years in power? Gone? Aren’t you the president of Colombia?” He wrote.
After that news, Pedro later posted a message that attached a chart that showed the evolution of homicide rates, and that the figures for 2020 were the lowest in the last 59 years.
“I am sending you this information for your knowledge. I think Mayor Mockus’ Bogota experience in first place is worthy of international study,” tweeted Pedro.
The Salvadoran president did not directly respond to the news, but this Thursday morning he posted a new tweet in which he said: “We ended the first day of March 2023 with 0 murders across the country. We have turned the most insecure country in the world into the safest country in Latin America“.
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