It may not be anyone’s dream destination, but that’s probably the point: Peru has opened a sprawling new prison high up in the Andes, with solar panels glistening in the bone-chilling cold.
The country has a massive lack of prison capacity.
And the new facility launched on Saturday at 4,100 metres (13,451 feet) above sea level in Cochamarca, in the Pasco area, will hold as many as 1,224 inmates.
That’s just under the population of the entire town, where daytime temperatures hit highs around 10 degrees Celsius and overnight plunge to 14 degrees below zero.
However, the town is welcoming the correctional facility as a job creator. Many in the area are farmers for whom feeding animals in the colder seasons is extremely tough.
President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won office amid promises he would reduce the country’s current shortage of 40,000 prison beds.
While the cold at the new facility is brutal, it could be worse for inmates there.
Outgoing President Ollanta Humala, whose term ends on July 28, turned down a request from a UN agency to consider shutting down Peru’s remote and frigid prisons in Challapalca and Yanamayo, located even higher at more than 4,500 metres above sea level.