El Salvador extends crackdown on jailed gang members

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) " Lawmakers in El Salvador have extended for another year a series of extraordinary prison measures aimed at cracking down on criminal gangs.

Thursday's landslide vote in the 84-seat Legislative Assembly means the measures first put in place in 2016 will remain through April 2018.

The measures let authorities put jailed gang members in more strict isolation. They also give prison authorities more power to limit illicit phone use by inmates and establish severe penalties for telecoms that don't cooperate to block cell signals near lockups.

Salvadoran authorities say gang leaders often issue orders for killings, extortion and other crimes even from behind bars.

They say the measures have helped reign in skyrocketing homicide and other crime rates. Opponents say they violate human rights.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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