Medical Support

The work of our medical teams is the treatment of those who have suffered torture to detect and reduce the impact of the following acts:

  • Biological: Torture to the body without actually touching it. For example: the deprivation of food and water, and/or exposure to extreme temperature (sun, cold), usually through inhumane conditions of detention.
  • Physical: Direct bodily damage. For example: hits, burns, electric shocks.
  • Sexual: Rape, genital mutilation and sexual humiliation

Our medical care is performed in accordance with the following stages:

  • Firstly, we ensure that persons affected by torture and other forms of state violence are transported to a hospital and receive appropriate medical attention so that their recovery is rapid and satisfactory.
    Attention in emergency cases and in social crises
  • ITEI responds to unforeseen events through emergency work, to provide adequate medical attention to those affected. This took place, for example, in Oct. 2003 in the city of El Alto during the Gas War, in 2008 in Chuquisaca after the events of May 24, in Pando after the events of September 11 and in Alto Parapeti after the sad events of March and April.
  • ITEI has personnel and ambulances available to intervene in situations of political violence in the streets, during demonstrations. It has attended various demonstrations providing medical attention. For example, the demonstration in January 2003 for survivors, the 8th march in defense of TIPNIS, demonstrations of miners, campesinos and other labor sectors.
  • Also, ITEI provides medical attention in hunger strikes held by various sectors.

    Care given in our offices:

  • ITEI in its La Paz office (and in Cochabamba until 2015) gives primary medical attention, medical examinations and medical treatment of other specialties. ITEI has signed agreements with various health centres, according to the capacities, specialties and economic conditions available. In the city of La Paz with the hospitals of Clínicas, San Gabriel, Arco Iris, Pro Salud. In city of El Alto with the Adolfo Kopling Medical Centre and the Maternal and Children’s Centre “Santa Maria de los Angeles”. In Cochabamba with the University Hospital of UNIVALLE and the hospital of Villa Tunari in the Chapare.

    What type of care do we provide?

In the offices persons affected are treated, providing them with: 
  • Diagnosis of the aftermath of torture
  • Treatment of the aftermath of torture – Treatment and relief of physical ailments, limiting the damage and minimizing the effects. 
  • Physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation
  • Consultations and/or referral to specialists
  • Translation of medical jargon to patients that consult with other doctors. 

Medical Examinations

ITEI carries out, upon the request of national and international institutions, medical examinations of torture using the ISTANBUL PROTOCOL. In this way, documentation of the psychosocial effects of torture is carried out. We comply with the high standards of the Protocol, examining those persons concerned in an impartial manner, with the consent of the person and making precise and confidential notes to document incidents of torture. ITEI has carried out medical examinations on requests from the Defensoría del Pueblo, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Medical Staff

  • In our La Paz office the doctor is Marcelo Flores Torrico. Victims are welcome to come in to see the doctor. Medical consultation hours: Tuesday 08.30-12.30 and Thursday 08.30-12.30
  • In Cochabamba up until 2015 we had Isabel Chuquimia, nurse. Marcelo Torrico went to Cochabamba to attend urgent cases.
  • For interventions in cases of crisis in Sucre we count on the contribution of Dr. Sergio Ramírez and Dr. Marcelo Rossi, physician and psychiatrist of the Argentine Psychosocial Work Team (EATIP) of Argentina.
  • For intervention in the prison of Villa Busch in Cobija we count upon the support of Dr.
    Poli Isijara