Bolivian history is rife with torture, massacres and other forms of organised violence by State agents. Pervasive human rights violations have been a feature of Bolivian life throughout all epochs of its history, including during the colonial time, in the Republic, during past dictatorships and during democratic governments. Dictatorship predominated between 1964 and 1981 with widespread abuses including enforced disappearances and the use of torture as a tool of political repression against leftist parties and trade unions. With the return of democracy, the use of torture as a repressive instrument has decreased but still persists today.
For victims of torture, there are no programmes or services provided by the government and there are no initiatives to train the relevant professional groups in how to deliver adequate services to torture victims. This increases victims’ mistrust in the Government, which discourages them from seeking support. ITEI is the only institution specialised in providing holistic rehabilitation services, primarily psycho-logical and medical rehabilitation.