OJTR  Vol.2 No.2 , May 2014
Torture in Honduras: Therapeutic Experiences of 2007-2008 and the Aftermath of the Coup
Author(s) Arely Alvarado*
ABSTRACT
Background: The Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation for Torture Victims and their Family (CPTRT) participated in the “Professionalization facilitated through training in key healthcare services for torture victims” project coordinated by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). Centers like CPTRT are typically created and run by small groups of healthcare professionals and human rights activists, often at great personal cost and risk [1]. The purpose of the project was to document the physical and psychological damage caused by torture as well as the results of the medical and psychological therapy. It also addresses: the socio-demographic profile of the victims, methods of torture and/or cruel, inhuman and degrading (CID), treatment, causal factors, and treatment effect. Material and Method: Psychometric and non-psychometric techniques were applied in order to obtain a baseline of the victims’ state of mental health, socio-demographic background, clinical and torture exposure, as well as evaluating the impact of the medical-psychological therapy at three and six months, respectively. The sample of torture victims is presented by the use of descriptive statistics and the effects during the study are presented with repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: The victims mostly experienced depression and anxiety and to a lesser extent, post-traumatic stress and somatizations as a response to the traumatic events they endured. The analysis demonstrates a significant drop in symptoms over the six months of the study in those victims who participated in the entire project. Conclusion: Although the several limitations and unforeseen situations arose in a study of this type, a holistic, multidisciplinary and systematic approach is able to decrease disorders moderately, but not without taking into account the sociopolitical contexts and the obstacles appearing therein, which should also be considered and studied through triangulated methodologies that provide a broader perspective for exploring a complex phenomenon like torture. Therefore, a standard rehabilitation program is neither possible nor desirable in the field of torture treatment (this is amplified in a political context of a coup).

Cite this paper
Alvarado, A. (2014) Torture in Honduras: Therapeutic Experiences of 2007-2008 and the Aftermath of the Coup. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2, 63-75. doi: 10.4236/ojtr.2014.22011.
References
[1]   McColl, H., et al. (2010) Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors in Five Countries: Common Themes and Challenges. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 4, 16.

[2]   United Nations Centre for Human Rights (1989) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Methods of Combating Torture, Ed., Geneva.

[3]   Committee for the Defense of People’s Rights—CODEPU (1989) “Persona, Estado, Poder” Estudios sobre Salud Mental en Chile 1973-1989 (“Person, State Power” Studies on Mental Health in Chile 1973-1989).
http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/chile/libros/poder/index.html

[4]   Westin, C. (1994) Tortura y existencia (torture and existence). Academy Universtity of Christian Humanism, Santiago.

[5]   Otero, E. and López, R. (1989) La pedagogía del terror: Un ensayo sobre la tortura (The Pedagogy of Terror: An Essay on Torture). Atena, Santiago.

[6]   International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims-IRCT (2005) The Struggle That Must Be Won. 20 Years with the IRCT.
http://issuu.com/irct/docs/strugglethatmustbewon

[7]   Rico, A., et al. (2009) Doctrina de seguridad nacional y políticas de contrainsurgencia en honduras (National Security Doctrine and Counterinsurgency Policies in Honduras). In: Feierstein, D., Ed., Terrorismo de Estado y genocidio en América Latina (State Terrorism and Genocide in Latin America), Prometeo Libros, Buenos Aires, 55-72.

[8]   Association for a Fairer Society (2012) Honduras el país más corrupto de Centroamérica según informe de transparencia internacional (Honduras the Most Corrupt Country in Central America as Reported by International Transparency).
http://asjhonduras.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136:honduras-el-pais-mas-corrupto-de-centroamerica-segun-informe-de-transparencia-internacional-&catid=61:transparencia&Itemid=78

[9]   Centre for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their Families (2009) Tortura: Represión sistemática tras el Golpe de Estado (Torture: Systematic Repression after the Coup). CPTRT, Tegucigalpa.

[10]   Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (2009) Annual Report of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights 2009: Honduras.
http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/2009sp/cap.4Honduras09.sp.htm

[11]   González, F. (2006) Investigación Cualitativa y Subjetividad (Qualitative Research and Subjectivity). ODHAG, Guatemala.

[12]   Maradiaga, C. (2002) Tortura y trauma: El viejo dilema de las taxonomías psiquiátricas (Torture and Trauma: The Old Dilemma of Psychiatric Taxonomies). Magazine Reflexión No. 28.

[13]   Interamerican Institute of Human Rights (2007) Atención Integral a víctimas de tortura en procesos de litigio: Aportes psicosociales (Integral Care for Torture Victims Involved in Judicial Proceedings: Psychosocial Contributions). IIHR, San José.

[14]   Robaina, C. (2001) Reparación desde lo terapéutico (Healing from the Therapy Perspective). Magazine Reflexión, 27, 27-31.

[15]   Kordon, D. (1993) La tortura en Latinoamérica: Sus efectos inmediatos y mediatos (Torture in Latin America: Its Immediate Effects and after Effects). Magazine Reflexión, 19, 30-34.

[16]   Rojas, P. (2000) Qué se entiende por tortura? (What Is Meant by Torture?) In: La tortura y otras violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Torture and Other Human Rights Violations), ECAP-ODHAG-IRCT, Antigua.

[17]   Kersner, D. (1992) Impunidad. (Impunity). II Seminario de la Región del Maule. Derechos humanos, salud mental, atención primaria: Desafío regional. (2nd Seminar of the Maule Region. Human Rights, Mental Health, Primary Care: Regional Challenge). Santiago, Chile.
http://www.cintras.org/textos/libros/libro linares completo.pdf

 
 
Top