LA PAZ – La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, starting this Saturday has a new, modern judicial morgue that substitutes the old one, described by authorities as undignified and unworthy of its function.
At the act of receiving the completed building, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said the previous morgue in La Paz “was shameful, it was a scandal and it was unworthy.”
He said the old place “was not really a morgue at all,” but rather a “shed” where corpses were dumped like “sacks of potatoes.”
The vice president said the new infrastructure cost more than $800,000, mostly financed by the central government and partly by the La Paz municipal government.
For his part, Health Minister Rodolfo Rocabado noted that the new three-story building has “everything it needs” to function perfectly.
He said the underground level will encompass the areas of refrigeration, with the capacity to hold “between 81 and 100 bodies.”
The next story is destined for areas of investigation where necropsies and autopsies will be performed, plus an area for receiving and delivering dead bodies, a crematorium and a teaching facility.
On the upper story will be laboratories for ballistics, cytopathology, macroscopic anatomy and everything related to forensic studies, the minister said.
The new La Paz morgue will be open 24 hours a day and includes rooms where its personnel can get some rest.
Rocabado also said that waste management will be specialized, in that it will no longer be mixed with common trash, in compliance with regulations of the Coroner’s Office.
What now remains is for the Attorney General’s Office and the government to complete the work of fully equipping the morgue, both authorities said.
The new judicial morgue is located in the Miraflores Hospital Complex in the like-named district of La Paz.