The Penas Ciudad Prison, El Salvador
The Penas Ciudad Barrios is a maximum security prison for members of the Mara Salvatrucha Gang, or MS, in the South of El Salvador. It was built for 800 inmates and now house's over 2500. The prison is practically run internally by the gang who have organised a bakery, basic rehabilitation and are even left to run the hospital.
As you enter the prison you soon realise that there are no guards around. They only stay on the outside and let the gang run the joint, which they do very well given the conditions. On hand to help the guards are the army who man most of the sentry points
For almost a year now there has been a truce between the the gangs in El Salvador, the MS and the 18 Street gang or B 18. As the leaders of MS are mainly incarcerated at the prison it has become a focus of the negotiations.

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