03/14/2012 10:21 am ET Updated May 14, 2012

Latin America Prisons: 'Rather Be Dead Than Here'

SAN SALVADOR -- In a prison called Hope, there is little of it to go around.

Inmates at La Esperanza penitentiary here cram into "the caves," their name for the suffocating spaces underneath bunk beds, desperate for a place to sleep. Others sprawl out on every inch of floor under a thicket of exposed electrical wires in sweltering, dirty cells, until they can come up with the $35 or more they will need to buy space on a bunk from fellow prisoners. In these tight quarters, it has become a flourishing trade.

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