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Montevideo, May 26th 2024 - 02:25 UTC

 

 

Paraguayan president says he is inspired by Bukele

Saturday, December 23rd 2023 - 10:02 UTC
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Photos of Operation Veneratio showed inmates face down, seated, on their knees, and in underwear, Bukele-style Photos of Operation Veneratio showed inmates face down, seated, on their knees, and in underwear, Bukele-style

Paraguayan President Santiago Peña confirmed in an international interview with CNN that he was inspired by his El Salvador colleague Nayib Bukele when launching Operation Veneratio this week, a move to dismantle virtual ownership by the notorious Rotela Clan drug gang of the Tacumbú Penitentiary in Asunción.

“I can't deny it, the experience of El Salvador, of Nayib, has also been a factor of encouragement to confront these criminal groups. President Nayib Bukele is today a figure that has gained preponderance. Before his arrival, El Salvador was one of the most insecure and criminal countries in the world. He generated a tremendous change and that generated a lot of attention,” Peña said.

During the operation, some 700 inmates were relocated to other correctional facilities, including gang leader Armando Javier Rotela. In videos and photographs of the deployment, inmates are seen face down, seated, on their knees, and in underwear.

In his CNN interview, Peña admitted there was still much to be done and pointed out that when debating insecurity they found out they had to solve the problem of prisons, where criminal clans have taken control.

The President insisted this course of action would solve a large part of micro-trafficking and criminality.

“Today the Government of Paraguay said enough to a penitentiary model that turned prisons into true schools of crime,” said Peña at the time. “Enough of privileges, complicity, lack of control, and more than anything, we said enough to a penitentiary model that turned prisons into true schools of crime and crime.”

Last Monday, one law enforcement officer and 11 inmates were killed during Operation Veneratio, a move conceived to transfer Rotela and other criminals to different correctional facilities nationwide. Rotela was sent to the Viñas Cue military prison, also in Asunción.

In the process involving the Paraguayan National Police -particularly the Lince (lynx) tactical group- and Military Forces, at least 36 officers and 24 prisoners were also injured by gunshots.

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