Flag

An official website of the United States government

Death of a U.S. Citizen
23 MINUTE READ
December 6, 2023

Overview

The American Citizens Services (ACS) unit provides certain assistance when a U.S. citizen dies in Bolivia. The degree and nature of consular assistance depends upon whether the U.S. citizen was accompanied by a family member or representative and whether he or she was visiting or living in Bolivia.

The ACS Unit can provide advice on funeral homes that prepare remains for repatriation to the United States and will issue a Consular Report of Death, which serves as a death certificate for probate and other legal purposes in the United States.

When a U.S. citizen dies in Bolivia, the death should be reported to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz or the Consular Agency in Santa Cruz as soon as possible.  The surviving spouse, or next of kin, should send an email to ConsularLaPazACS@state.gov with a copy of the Bolivian death certificate, U.S. passport of the deceased, social security number, any marriage or divorce certificates, identification for the next of kin including marriage or birth certificates, and contact telephone number.

Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen in Bolivia

Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether resident or tourist, should be reported to the Embassy so that a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad (CRODA) can be issued. The CRODA will be issued upon presentation of a local death certificate and proof that the deceased was an American citizen.  This document will serve to settle most legal and estate matters in the United States.

Profile of Services Available in Bolivia

Bolivian law does not place a time limit during which burial must take place. However, funeral homes generally only allow one week to receive the next-of-kin’s instructions due to limitations on refrigerated facilities. If additional time is needed to make subsequent final disposition of remains arrangements, the body must be transported to a refrigerated storage facility. Un-embalmed remains are usually buried within 48 hours after death.

Embalming

Embalming is carried out by local funeral homes in accordance with local practices. In most cases, the services fall short of those expected in the United States.

Cremation

Cremation is permitted in Bolivia. There is no time limit within which remains must be cremated. Remains can be cremated in major cities of Bolivia: La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija, Oruro and Sucre. Cremation procedures result in the same sized fine ash as it does in the United States.

Autopsies

An autopsy is performed in cases involving violent or suspected violent death (murder, suicide or accidental).  It is also performed in cases of natural death when it occurs in circumstances that are not clear (sudden or unexpected deaths).

Schedule of Costs (approximate) as of November 2020

  • Burial Without Embalming: $1,500
  • Burial With Embalming: $2,000
  • Cremation: $2,500
  • Embalming: $500
  • Preparation of Remains for Repatriation (including coffin, zinc and wooden containers and embalming):$4000
  • Estimated shipment by air to Miami (human remains) (based on total weight 220 Kgs.): $2,500
  • Cremation and Repatriation of Ashes by air to Miami (human ashes): $3,500

Funeral Homes

The following morticians are familiar with the procedures for embalming, cremation, preparing the necessary documentation, and preparing and shipping remains.

The U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms.  Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.

La Paz

Funeraria ValdiviaAv. Bush 1278, Miraflores(+591) 2 222 4455, (+591) 2 222 5998Contact: Adolfo Valdivia

* English Spoken

Copacabana

Funeraria TarquiAv. 16 de Julio Esq. Calle Bueno S/NJhonny Quispejhonyreyquis@gmail.com(+591) 732 12536

* English Spoken

Cochabamba

Funeraria ValdiviaAve. Ayacucho #490Blanco Galindo Km 7.5(+591) 4 425 3083; (+591) 4 443 0426

* English Spoken

Parque de Las MemoriasAve. Salamanca Nº 0687Mauricio Andrademandrade@parquedelasmemorias.com(+591) 4 452 0520; (+591) 722 03666

* English Spoken

Funeraria La CapillaAve. Gualberto Villarroel esq. Pasaje Zolano s/nPatricia Cadimacadimaperezpatricia@gmail.com(+591) 4 445 4141; (+591) 4 445 4440; (+591) 703 45805

* English Spoken

Oruro

Funeraria Morales6 de Octubre, San Felipe y AldanaMelina Morales(+591) 604 27614

* English Spoken

Santa Cruz

Cineris – Funerales & CremacionCircunvalacion de Cotoca, carretera a Pailas, CotocaEduardo Orias, Administratororiaseduardo@gmail.com(+591) 781 83013 WhatsApp

* English Spoken

Valdivia Servicios Funerarios de RepatriacionLa Paz, Santa Cruz & other cities in BoliviaNoemi Valdivia de Thompson, Administratorfunerariavaldivia@gmail.com(+591) 775 40660 WhatsApp

* English Spoken

Monte Olivo – Cementerio (privado) y servicios funerariosAv. Santa Cruz y Saavedra (frente al parque urbano)Alvaro Singh, Administratoroperaciones@prever.com.bo(+591) 3 346 9191(+591) 721 61622 WhatsApp

* English Spoken

Las Misiones2do Anillo del Canal Cotoca esq. Avenida departamento PandoAlberto Avila, Administradorfunerariasc@misiones.bo(+591) 3 364 6363(+591) 650 70547 WhatsApp

Cristo Redentor Salón Velatorio & FunerariaAv. el Trompillo #910 diagonal Madre IndiaRicardo Arteaga Vaca, Administradorana-mariamedina@hotmail.com(+591) 3 352 4959(+591) 760 01933 WhatsApp

Sarco – Salón Velatorio & FunerariaCentral: Calle Cuellar # 355 entre calle España y Santa BarbaraSucursal: Av. Noel Kempff Mercado 3er anillo int. entre Bush y San Martin # 737Miguel Lino, Administradorbelu.gg84@gmail.com(+591) 650 20086(+591)700 43064 WhatsApp

Samaipata

Funeraria CoronadoPOC: Olga de CoronadoPhone: (591) 760-93612

Vallegrande

Funeraria CoronadoC. Señor de Malta entre C. Pucara y C. Virrey MendozaOlga Montano Mendozakdtp_omlm@hotmail.com(591) 760-93612

Sucre

Funeraria Jardin de PazRosendo Villa No 120Tito Valdafuneralesbolivia@gmail.com(+591) 4 645 7524; (+591) 728 77889

Funeraria ValdezC/ Ayacucho No354 frente Hospital Santa BarbaraMiguel Ángel Valdezfuneralesbolivia@gmail.com(+591) 4 642 1956; (+591) 4 643 6493; (+591) 728 77889

Tarija

Funeraria Monte CristoAv. Potosí esq. Pje. Las RosasLic. Nataly Valdezfunerariamontecristo@gmail.com(+591) 718 60800; (+591) 702 15517

Funeraria ValdezC/ Alcides d’Orbigny No1119German Valdez or Mabel de Valdez(+591) 4 664 4490; (+591) 702 23206

Potosi

Señor de la Vera Cruz Casa de FuneralesC.Millares Esq. C. Canete S/NArali Alban Teran(+591) 787 27307 (+591) 704 76715 WhatsApp

Repatriation of Remains

Documentation Required for Exportation of Remains/Ashes

To facilitate the exportation of the remains, the Embassy prepares a Consular Mortuary Certificate which includes flight details and consignee and incorporates the following documents:

  1. An official Bolivian Death Certificate, which is a certificate issued by the local Bolivian Civil Registry;
  2. Permit from the city (municipalidad) to export remains;
  3. Certificate of Embalming, which document certifies the chemicals that were used for embalming the body and is issued by the funeral home;
  4. A Consular Mortuary Certificate issued by the Consular Section;
  5. Affidavit by the Local Bolivian Mortician, which should be attached to the consular Mortuary Certificate, and must state that the casket contains only the body of the deceased and the necessary clothing and packing.  This document is prepared by the Embassy;
  6. Transit Label issued by the Consular Section.

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
    • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Disposition of Remains Report

In the event of the death of an American citizen in Bolivia, our first responsibility is to locate and inform the next-of-kin.  Once we locate the next-of-kin, we can act as a liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects.

The disposition of remains is affected by local laws, customs and facilities, which can be vastly different from those in the United States. The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges and shipping costs for the remains and personal effects (if applicable). General estimates of these costs as well as the shipping requirements are available in the Disposition of Remains Report here (PDF 90 KB). We will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States.

Contact Information

Contact Information (La Paz)

Regular Business Hours
Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Excluding U.S. and Bolivian Holidays
Phone: (591) 2-216-8000
Email: ConsularLaPazACS@state.gov

Contact Information (Santa Cruz)

Regular Business Hours
Monday and Tuesday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm and Friday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Excluding U.S. and Bolivian Holidays
Phone: (591) 2-216-8000
Email: ConsularSantaCruz@state.gov