THE IACHR EXPRESSES DEEP CONCERN OVER
VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN EL SALVADOR’S LA ESPERANZA PRISON
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expresses its deep concern over the violent incidents that took place on August 18, 2004, in La Esperanza prison in San Salvador, El Salvador.
According to the information received by the Commission, violent clashes broke out at 9:45 a.m., in La Esperanza prison, known as “Mariona,” between common prisoners and members of juvenile gangs known as “maras,” leaving a toll of more than 30 people dead and approximately 23 wounded. According to press accounts, most of the victims died from stab wounds or from injuries caused by shards from homemade grenades.
The IACHR considers these events extremely serious and urges the Salvadoran state to take the necessary measures to guarantee the life and safety of the La Esperanza prison inmates. These measures should focus on preventing the recurrence of such clashes, violence, and loss of human life. Of crucial importance among such measures is the review of El Salvador’s penitentiary policy and, in particular, the correction of conditions of overcrowding, to which end the IACHR offers the Salvadoran state its collaboration within the sphere of its competence.
Washington, D.C., August 19, 2004