“Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.”Adam Smith
For a few years now, President Nayib Bukele has been hammering the criminal gangs that are eating El Salvador alive. The nation just inaugurated their newly built Terrorism Confinement Center (Centro de Confinamiento del Terrorismo) and began filling it with thousands of MS-13 and Calle 18 gang members. Honduras is conducting similar operations, but they aren’t getting as much attention as the flashy Bukele.
Bleeding hearts–at a safe distance from the danger of the gangs’ daily predations–call Bukele’s actions a “brutal crackdown,” but ordinary salvadoreños are grateful for the increased peace and safety, giving Bukele an 86% approval rate.
From The Daily Mail:
El Salvador’s new mega prison is already packed with bitter rivals from two of North and Central America’s most feared gangs – MS-13 and Calle 18 – with history showing their foot soldiers will take any opportunity to kill their enemies.
Life in the vast CECOT ‘Terrorism Confinement Centre’ complex – which opened only in January – is dire, with rights groups already comparing it to a concentration camp.
The number of homicides in El Slavador – considered by many to be the murder capital of the world – tumbled 56.8 percent in 2022 (according to official figures), but the result will be an overcrowded 40,000-capacity prison full of the country’s most dangerous criminals, many of whom are on opposite sides of a decades-long feud.
Cut the murder rate in half by cramming violent criminals into a crowded prison? Sounds like a good tradeoff to me.
Amnesty International and ACLU types are swarming lawyers and propagandists to the scene, hoping to break the entire project in the name of protecting the rights of the poor, abused prisoners.
What about the human rights of ordinary people being extorted, robbed and killed? What about parents watching helplessly as the murderous gangs recruit their grade school age children? What about the victims trafficked by the gangs for slavery and prostitution?
Winning at Monopoly
Central America, Mexico and the US need a kind of Eliot Ness task force to take down gangs and funnel criminals to a massive regional Nuremburg Trial.
Those convicted need to go away. Far away. Specially built prisons, thousands of miles removed, where the incarcerated can no longer exercise control from prison and their underlings cannot bring them treats. Perhaps in a frozen, norther clime where escape means freezing to death or being eaten by polar bears.
Criminal activity has plagued humankind throughout history. We will never eradicate it, but we can attack the worst of it and take down the perps, either by killing them in the streets or arresting and imprisoning them. If a state is going to claim monopoly use of violence and power, it needs to exercise that monopoly for the good of the people.
The Americas: We have it all
The Americas have it all. If we were cut off from the rest of the world, we would want for very little. So much beauty, diversity, and good people who broadly share the same values. South America has its problems, but it isn’t doing so bad. Despite what we hear, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina are regional economic powerhouses, and other nations, while suffering the vagaries of everyday life, also manage to provide havens of rustic tranquility.
Southern Mexico and the nations to its immediate south are suffering. So much potential, but mired in so much crime and economic misery.
Smash the criminal cartels, build some economic activity and security, and Central America and Mexico could join with the US and Canada to create one of the most prosperous, free and beautiful regions in the world.