Belfast Telegraph

Shot man's family turns to MEPs

The family of a man shot dead by security forces in Bolivia over an alleged presidential assassination plot is to step up its campaign for European Union help in holding the foreign authorities to account.

Mystery still surrounds the death of Michael Dwyer, from Ballinderry in Co Tipperary, who was one of three men killed in a police shooting in Santa Cruz in April 2009.

The 24-year-old had been working as a security guard in the South American country when he died during what local police claimed was a gun fight at the hotel he was staying in.

After the shooting, the police said they had foiled an alleged plot to assassinate Bolivian President Evo Morales.

However, Mr Dwyer's family has argued that the recent graduate was executed while he slept and that the authorities were guilty of manipulating evidence to suggest he was involved in criminal activity.

"The family continues to seek an international investigation into the death of their son and believe that the European Union can exercise some pressure in bringing about accountability and answers surrounding the killing of Michael Dwyer," a family spokesman said.

"The family continues to maintain close communication with the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, and they are hopeful that Ireland will use the upcoming EU Presidency to progress their desire to secure information about their son's killing."

They are calling for an independent investigation into the killing, arguing that no reports have been compiled outlining who specifically killed him and who authorised it.

His mother and father, Caroline and Martin, and sister Aisling are travelling to the European Parliament on Wednesday where they will meet with all of Ireland's MEPs to lobby for continued support.

They have also requested a meeting with officials from the office of UN High Representative Catherine Ashton to establish what the EU has done so far to try to understand the facts behind the killing.

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