El Salvador calls emergency in seven prisons
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Authorities in El Salvador have declared a state of emergency in seven prisons and transferred 299 high-ranking gang members as part of ``extraordinary measures’’ they have promised to take against gangs. El Salvador’s minister of justice and public security Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde said Tuesday in a news conference that the targeted gang members were transferred to a prison 25 kilometres west of the capital. The emergency declaration puts inmates on lockdown and suspends family visits for 15 days. Ramirez said the transferred inmates were identified as those most responsible for ordering crimes from inside prison. He said that mixed units of police and soldiers will handle security inside and outside the country’s prisons. President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said earlier this month he was considering steps to combat gang violence.