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NEWS

Short Update: Central America’s overcrowded prisons see rise in COVID-19 cases

FairTrialsAdmin - June 1, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions

Central America’s prisons have nearly 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death. Observers fear the worst due to rampant overcrowding and squalid conditions. Overcrowding rates range from 30% in Costa Rica, the only country without reported COVID cases in prison, to over 200% in Honduras, while one Salvadoran jail was at 900%.  

The Interamerican Commission of Human Rights has warned that the situation in Panama’s prisons in particular is “critical,” with over 500 prisoners testing positive. El Salvador has seen over 100 cases across four prisons. Nicaragua has refused to release official figures, but unofficial reports say that 38-45 political prisoners have contracted the virus and at least four non-political prisoners have died.

Read EFE's report here (in Spanish).

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