A World Boxing Association delegation visited the Penitentiary Farm of Zacatecoluca Department, El Salvador, as part of the KO to Drugs program of the WBA. The delegation gave words of hope to the population deprived of freedom and highlighted the message that boxing is a means for social improvement.
The WBA group was led by the Puerto Rican Luis Pabón, director of the Officers Committee, and the Colombian Fidel Bassa, former WBA World Champion, who transmitted to the Salvadoran authorities, the Association’s goal of supporting this type of projects to collaborate in the social reintegration of prisoners. All this under a method that prioritizes the promotion of values within the community through boxing.
“I’m happy to be a boxer and to support boxing at this moment, thanks to the World Boxing Association we are going to reach every corner of the world and share the beautiful experience of bringing this sport everywhere,” said Bassa. “I’m happy with everything Gilberto Jesus Mendoza (WBA President) is doing. For creating the World Boxing Academy and has told me to join to this project that has taken people out of poverty, and today we can tell this nice experience.”
Pabón commented: “This is a unique experience, these are the true social works that we must do within the WBA.”
This visit was possible thanks to Oscar Canjura, President of the Salvadoran Association of Professional Boxing (Asabox), who wants to work along with the WBA to develop boxing at every level within this Central American country. In addition, the company of Marco Tulio Lima, the general director of penal centers in El Salvador, and Orlando Molina Rios, deputy general director of penal centers, was vital to understand the intentions the authorities of this country have to help them in the social reintegration.
“For me it has been a wonderful experience, because I can give something back to my country, a little bit of everything boxing has given me in my life, and it is also wonderful to have the visit of a delegation from the World Boxing Association that has come to strengthen this project we are doing in the country called Asabox. It represents the boxing resurgence in El Salvador,” said Canjura.
Tulio and Rios talked about the new vision that the Central American country has regarding the social reintegration of prisoners. They talked about how important these penitentiary farms are for them, where the planting of food is encouraged to support the process of each inmate. They said that they now want to include a sport such as boxing and hope to sign an agreement with the WBA to achieve a systematic development of the sport within the detention centers and forge values through the Fistian Art, so they can demonstrate that boxing is a means for social development that can help people at all levels.