Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Call for probe into Bolivia death

Security worker Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia.

The family of an Irishman shot dead in Bolivia over an alleged assassination plot are considering making fresh complaints to United Nations' investigators over the killing.

Security worker Michael Dwyer, 24, from Co Tipperary, was reported to have been gunned down in a police shoot-out after getting mixed up in a right-wing attempt to kill the country's president Evo Morales.

But after new eyewitness testimony from a Hungarian who was with Mr Dwyer in the run-up to his death, the family are looking at making new submissions to both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Ex-judicial Killings over his death.

Elod Toaso has told his trial in Bolivia for involvement in terrorism charges that the Irishman survived the bloody hotel raid at Santa Cruz in April 2009 - where it was reported he had been shot - and was later seen alive at the city's international airport.

He claimed Mr Dwyer was likely summarily executed at Viru Viru airport.

The Dwyers were briefed on the latest developments on their demands for an independent inquiry into their son's killing by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador to Argentina James McIntyre and EU Ambassador to Bolivia Timothy Torlot met with government representatives.

In a statement the Dwyers said they were pleased that in an official demarche to the Bolivian authorities, both the Irish Government and EU expressed mounting concerns over failure for any investigation to take place into Mr Dwyer's killing.

"The delegation reiterated the need for an independent inquiry into Michael's killing as a critical outcome," a spokesperson said.

The Dwyers said they were pleased to see an EU presence and that it would send a strong message to the Bolivian authorities that the issue of Mr Dwyer's death is being taken very seriously.

They are said to be deeply distressed over the evidence from Elod Toaso.

The Irish Ambassador is planning to return to Bolivia and press officials over the killing again in the winter.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore is still of the view that an international independent investigation would be helpful.

"During the meeting, Ambassador McIntyre conveyed the Tanaiste's concerns about the case of Michael Dwyer," a spokeswoman said.

Mr McIntyre met the Bolivian authorities last June and diplomats briefed the Dwyer family on the meeting last week.

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