Raw Egg Nationalist, American Mind
Just over a week ago, the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, released a tweet that immediately generated a huge buzz across Twitter and spawned much comment in the traditional news media. The tweet was not about Bitcoin.
“Today at dawn,” President Bukele tweeted, “in just a single operation, we transferred the first 2,000 gang members to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT). This will be their new home, where they will all live together for decades, unable to do any more harm to the population.” In the accompanying video, we follow the new residents of this facility—heavily tattooed, shaven-headed gang members—as they are processed and “welcomed” to their new home.
And what a welcome. First we see the gang members, stripped to their underwear, hands behind their heads, as they scuttle to a courtyard where they are made to sit crushed together in huge squares, flanked on all sides by heavily armed guards in ski-masks. Once fully gathered, the prisoners are sent scuttling again through chain-link corrals onto buses for transfer to CECOT.
Now we see a huge snaking convoy of buses moving at night along a freeway, shepherded by police as it travels toward the facility. For a moment, we lock eyes with a gang member on one of the buses as he stares from the window. He is stony-faced, shocked.
With dawn breaking, the buses finally arrive at the facility and spill their cargo. Seen from the air, CECOT is enormous, looking more like a military base than a prison. The prisoners file into in a vast entrance hall, where again they sit so closely packed that their noses are quite literally bent out of joint. The video ends as the prisoners enter their featureless cells and line up behind the bars. The cells have enormous four-story metal bunks that resemble the high shelves in a warehouse. A cell door closes, bolted shut. We see one last shot of the facility from the air as the music, previously ominous, reaches a hopeful crescendo. The sun has now risen.