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Inside the world’s toughest prison, tonight on 7NEWS Spotlight

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For years, El Salvador has been plagued by rampant street violence, drug cartels and murders, earning its reputation as one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Once notorious for the highest daily murder rate worldwide, it now holds the record for the highest incarceration rate.

In a remarkable episode of 7NEWS Spotlight, acclaimed journalist Liam Bartlett will take viewers inside the epicentre of El Salvador’s brutal and unforgiving prison system.

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The Centre for Confinement and Terrorism (CECOT) has become a symbol of President Nayib Bukele’s war against gangs. Since its establishment in 2023, it has housed tens of thousands of El Salvador’s worst criminals and gang leaders.

With exclusive access, 7NEWS Spotlight’s cameras go behind the bars and come face-to-face with the inmates inside the world’s toughest prison, witnessing first hand the inhumane conditions that have human rights organisations around the world in uproar.

Barlett said:

“It’s a confronting argument whether or not this level of incarceration solves the root cause of violent crime.”

“However, we are grateful to the Salvadoran government for allowing us, as the first non-Spanish-speaking television crew, to access this prison and show our audience the results.”

As Bartlett sits down with former FBI special agent Jeff Wood, he will issue a stark warning to Australia: the infiltration of notorious gangs on Australian soil is not a distant threat but a chilling reality.

Also on 7NEWS Spotlight, join Charles Wooley on an extraordinary expedition to witness the rare phenomenon of Australia’s Lake Eyre, coming to life in a spectacular event that only occurs once every two decades.

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Broadcast times on Channel 7 and 7Plus

Sydney Brisbane and Perth: 8.45pm on Channel 7 and 7plus

Melbourne and Adelaide: 11.00pm on Channel 7 and 7plus

7NEWS Spotlight: Inside the world’s toughest prison, this Sunday on Channel 7 and 7plus

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Know more about this or another Australian media story?

Contact the team anonymously at TV Blackbox

Kyle Laidlaw
Kyle Laidlaw
An avid media enthusiast of more than 10 years, Kyle regularly follows all things TV related, both in Australia and overseas with a particular interest in local free-to-air scheduling and new show commissions.



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