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Revista Médica del Uruguay

versão impressa ISSN 0303-3295versão On-line ISSN 1688-0390


IGLESIAS, Victoria; DA TRINDADE, Valeria  e  RODRIGUEZ ALMADA, Hugo. Severe lesions caused by illegitimate acts and state terrorism in Uruguay. 10-year report of the medico-legal psychiatric assessment of victims. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2020, vol.36, n.3, pp.112-133.  Epub 01-Set-2020. ISSN 0303-3295.

The role of Legal Medicine in human rights, forensic science and humanitarian action is increasingly visible. Act 18,596 compensates those who prove to have experienced severe lesions by state agents.


to contribute to public awareness of the illegitimate actions and state terrorism in Uruguay (June 13, 1968 to February 28, 1985) and the input of Legal Medicine in terms of truth, justice, memory, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition.


the compensation requests for severe lesions received during the first 10 years the law was in force were studied.

Results and discussion:

115 out of 166 requests were admitted. In 95% of cases, a medico-legal and or psychological report was requested. Despite it being hard to prove the causal link, a link with a reasonable degree of certainty was found in 55 cases. Average age of victims at the time the lesions were caused was 26 years old. Average age at the time of compensation was 66 years old. Lesions proved match those referred to in the national and international bibliography. The study points out the finding of a considerable number of psychotic disorders.


115 victims were compensated for severe lesions caused, in the wide majority of cases, by long imprisonment and torture. A high prevalence of osteoarticular diseases was observed, chronic post-traumatic stress disorders and depression, although a high number of chronic psychoses, too. Medico-legal reports were relevant to demonstrate severe lesions and the causal link with the action of state agents.

Palavras-chave : Terrorism; Wounds and injuries; Torture; Human rights abuses; Forensic medicine; Uruguay.

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