The Situation in Bolivia

The Ombudsman reported 3784 complaints of torture during the period between 2007 and 2012.

  • Torture continues to be used as a means of conducting investigations and as a form of intimidation against civil society by the police and armed forces in Bolivia.dsc03329
  • There is no state policy for the eradication of torture and no state official has been convicted for committing torture.
  • The fight against torture fails most in the areas of prevention and access to justice: impunity persists.
  • Torture disproportionately affects people of low socio-economic status as well as members of oppositionist social movements.
 In coordination with the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, ITEI helped to prepare the following fact sheet which gives details of the situation in Bolivia with regards to torture.
In Bolivia torture is a daily practice, even though democratic governments deny its existence. The forces of “order” attack the elderly and the government justifies this action by claiming the attacks are necessary for “health reasons”. Our history is plagued by instances of torture. For example, the government has massacred groups of miners and farmers who originated movements to demand social and economic recognition. The current government invents cynical excuses for what goes on. As it turns out, any conspiratorial or subversive political action of the poorest in Bolivian society is enough of a justification for violent acts in a framework of widespread impunity for the perpetrators.
The history of Bolivia is a history of repression acts committed by the state against its political opponents and protesting sectors. Governments commit crimes against humanity and commit acts of violence whilst remaining immune to punishment and without attending to the victims. In Bolivia there is not a single case where the state has taken responsibility for the consequences suffered by the victims.What’s more, the facts are ignored due to a conscious will to deny them.
plaquardsAs an example, in one just one month, April 2000, there were reports of 10 cases of torture in the Altiplano región of Bolivia. The majority of these cases were against farmers or rural dwellers aged 13 to 17.
The following document also helps to explain more amount the situation in Bolivia.


ITEI documented 54 cases of torture in October 2003 during the Gas War:

Tortura en Octubre 2003

Legislation and International Accords

Today in Bolivia, torture and other forms of state violence remain in practice despite Bolivian legislation prohibiting torture and the fact that the Bolivian state has signed and ratified international agreements against torture. STATE POLITICAL CONSTITUTION Paragraph 1, article 15 of the political constitution of the state, determines that every person has the right to life …

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