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Argentina’s Security Minister gets first-hand glimpse of “Bukele Model”

Argentina’s Security Minister Patricia Bullrich Sunday visited El Salvador’s controversial Confinement Center for Terrorism (CECOT), probably seeking to replicate the model in her country, it was reported. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had told her he was open to giving Argentina any assistance it might need regarding security issues.

The relationship between the two countries grew stronger earlier this month when Argentine President Javier Milei attended Bukele’s inauguration for a second straight term in office.

Under Bukele, street violence in El Salvador has been reported to have suffered a significant decrease, due to which getting reelected was only to be expected. However, humanitarian organizations have received more than 6,000 complaints regarding the detention facility where numerous human rights abuses are said to have been carried out, in addition to arbitrary arrests, torture, and short-term disappearances. Moreover, some 300 detainees were said to have died at the penitentiary, most of them showing visible signs of violence.

“As a result of the bilateral meeting between President Nayib Bukele and President Javier Milei, we welcome Minister Patricia Bullrich to the safest country in Latin America,” Salvadoran Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro posted on X.

“It is a real pleasure to receive you in El Salvador, I am sure that this visit from Argentina will be enriching, you and your team will be able to learn firsthand about the ‘Bukele Model’,” he added.

“From a country taken over by violence, drug trafficking and gangs that murdered 150 thousand Salvadorans, to one of the safest countries in the world, where families recovered their lives and live in peace,” Bullrich wrote on the same social network. “This is the way. Tough on criminals. Freedom for the good Argentines,” she added.

The CECOT Center was opened by Bukele on Jan. 31, 2023, in an area of 116 hectares in the Tecoluca district of the central department of San Vicente. It is believed to be the largest such facility in the Americas, with room for up to 40,000 inmates. It currently houses some 15,000 gang members convicted as per El Salvador’s emergency regime decreed on March 27, 2022, which has since been extended 26 times by a pro-government majority Congress, following an escalation of homicides attributed to gangs.

Bullrich also explained on X that she had held a meeting at El Salvador’s National Academy of Public Security, where Director General Cesar Flores Murillo “shared with me a very complete and detailed explanation about the administration of the Police and its important results.”

Joining Bullrich were Argentine Border Guard Academy graduates taking part in an exchange program with Salvadoran authorities.

Source: MercoPress