Information Pack for British Prisoners in Bolivia Author British Embassy La Paz Date June 2015



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Information Pack for British Prisoners in Bolivia


Author British Embassy La Paz

Date June 2015

Contents


Introduction 3

Who can we help? 3

About the Embassy 3

Who are the Consular Representatives? 3

Contact Information 3

First Steps 4

Who will know I have been detained? 4

What will my family be told? 4

What will the Consulate do? 4

Would I have a criminal record in the UK? 4

Visits 4

How do my family and friends arrange a visit? 4

How many visits am I allowed? 4

This depends on the prison. Most prisons have set visiting days and times and this is usually twice a week. 4

Consular visits 5

What can visitors bring? 5

Prison conditions/services 6

Arrival at police station 6

Arrival at prison 6

General prison conditions 6

How can I receive money? 7

Can I work or study in prison? 8

Can I receive medical and dental treatment? 8

Food and Diet 8

Mail/Parcels 8

Can I make telephone calls? 9

Leisure and entertainment 9

Drugs 9


How can I make a complaint about mistreatment? 9

The Bolivian Judicial System 10

Is the system the same as the UK? 10

What should happen when I am arrested? 10

For how long can I be remanded in custody? 10

What happens when I am charged? 10

What provision is there for bail? 11

What kind of legal assistance is available 11

What happens at the trial? 12

Sentences 12

How can appeals be made? 13

What provision is there for reduction of sentence (remission) e.g. for good behaviour? 13

What provision is there for early release e.g. on parole? 13

What provision is there for clemency or pardon? 13

A recent disposition called “indulto” allows prisoners who have been sentenced to apply for a full pardon after serving 1/3 of their sentence. Prisoners with disabilities or a serious illness may apply for an early pardon or “indulto”. 13

What about any financial penalties? 13

Is transfer to another prison within Bolivia possible? 13

Is transfer to the UK a possibility? 14

What are the procedures for release and deportation? 14

Additional Information 15

Volunteer Workers 15

There are some charitable organisations who volunteer at the prisons, mostly religious or related to human rights. You may be visited by these organisations if you wish to. 15

15

Prisoners Abroad 15



Glossary of Terms 16

Useful legal terms 16

Key phrases – English into Spanish 16

Annexes 32

Disclaimer 33









Introduction

Who can we help?


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):

The FCO is represented overseas by its Embassies and Consulates (High Commission in Commonwealth Countries). Both employ consular officers, and one of their duties is to provide help and advice to any British National who gets into difficulty in a foreign country.



About the Embassy


We are impartial; we are not here to judge you. We aim to make sure that you are treated properly and fairly in accordance with local regulations, and that you are treated no less favourably than other prisoners.
We can answer questions about your welfare and about prison regulations but you must ask your lawyer or the court about legal matters. The attached list of lawyers is provided by the British Embassy for your convenience, but neither Her Majesty’s Government, nor any official of the Consulate, take any responsibility for the competence or probity of any firm/advocate on the list or for the consequence of any legal action initiated or advice given.
We cannot get you out of prison, pay fines or stand bail or interfere with local judicial procedures to get you out of prison nor secure you an earlier trial date; we cannot investigate a crime.
We have tried to make sure that the information in this booklet is accurate and up to date, but the British Embassy cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information. If in doubt contact a lawyer.


Who are the Consular Representatives?


Your point of contact at the British Embassy in La Paz is Ms Jill Benton and you may contact her at consular.lapaz@fco.gov.uk.


Contact Information



British Embassy La Paz

Av. Arce No. 2732

La Paz, Bolivia
Tel: 591 2 2433424

Fax: 591 2 2431073

www.GOV.UK/world/bolivia
Working hours: Monday to Thursday 08:30-12:30 and 13:30 to 17:00, Friday 08:30 to 13:30 (Local time)


First Steps

Who will know I have been detained?


The consulate would normally be notified of your arrest by local authorities. Please be advised that the Bolivian authorities do not always advise the Embassy of arrests with immediate effect so you should ask them to see a Consular Officer as soon as possible. We can also learn of your arrest from family or friends and on occasions through the local media.

What will my family be told?


We respect your confidentiality and we will tell no one (including your family) unless you authorise us to. If you agree, we can inform your family about your detention and the circumstances. We can provide your family with relevant information about the legal system in Bolivia, and information on how to contact you and transfers funds. We will provide contact information for the FCO and the Embassy as well as for related organisations such as Prisoners Abroad. If your family wish to visit you while you are in prison we can help with some arrangements.

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