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In the cage (El Salvador) | by Latin America Photography
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In the cage (El Salvador)

A local leader of the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13) shows a hand sign, representing his gang, in a cell at the detention center in San Salvador, El Salvador. Although the country's two major gangs reached a truce in 2012, the police holding cells currently house more than 3000 inmates, five times more than the official built capacity. Partly because the ordinary Mara gang members did not break with their criminal activities (extortion, street-level distribution of drugs, etc.), partly because Salvadorean police still applies controversial anti-gang law which allows to detain almost anyone for “suspicion of gang membership”. Accused young men are held in police detention centers where up to 25 inmates may share a cell of five-by-five metres. Here, in the dark overcrowded cages, under harsh and life-threatening conditions, suspected gang members wait long months, sometimes years, for trial or for to be transported to a regular prison. © Jan Sochor Photography

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Taken on February 20, 2014