CINTRAS: Center for Psychological Health and Human Rights in Chile

From September 1973 until March 1990 the military dictatorship of general Pinochet ruled Chile. Even though Chile has a democratic government, the effects of the dictatorship have left psychological traces, which can be found sometimes in the third generation of the victims. This is where the work of CINTRAS begins.

CINTRAS was founded in 1985 as a Non-governmental organization, in order to treat people psychologically that suffered inhumane treatment. In Chile the dictatorship was only partially reprocessed, few of the perpetrators of inhumane treatment were arrested and taken to trial. 

Therapeutic Work

The aim of CINTRAS is to alleviate the emotional suffering of persons who were tortured or otherwise politically repressed. CINTRAS cares for people who have suffered from many different forms of human rights violations: torture, political murder, “vanishing”, arbitrary detainment, exile etc. 

Even today-more than 20 years after Chile’s return to democracy-many people are still in need of psychological and psychiatric care. Though the worst of the human rights violations are many years back, similar like with the followed of the Nazi regime in Germany the aftermath of human rights crime often last for years, and in some cases affect the next generation. Therefore today’s patients of CINTRAS are also children and grandchildren of direct murder, torture and exile affected persons. This group of patients often suffers of panic attacks, insomnia, psychic and bodily strain or difficulty in relationship with people who they are close to.

A Place were they are understood

It is very important for these people to have a place were there problems are understood and helped. The workers of CINTRAS-many of which were followed during the dictatorship-are specially educated to treat survivors of human rights violations and can take the stories of the patients and order them politically. Through this they can successfully treat patients and have an important empathy towards their special needs. 

In 2021, the schwelle Foundation terminated the financial support for CINTRAS as planned.


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