Film to probe Dwyer’s death in Bolivia

New questions about the death of Michael Dwyer are to be raised in a documentary to be aired tonight on Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV station.

Mr Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia by state security forces on Apr 16, 2009, after allegedly being involved with a group which planned to assassinate the country’s president.

The circumstances in which Co Tipperary native Mr Dwyer and two other men were shot dead have been highly disputed by pathological evidence and independent inquiries.

The UN’s special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings has repeatedly written to the Bolivian government to request a response to evidence that the men were summarily executed.

This evening’s documentary, Bolivian Escapade, made by award-winning Mayo-based company Inver Films, raised questions about the knowledge state security services had about the group with which Mr Dywer associated, and calls into questions the Bolivian state’s allegations that this group had intended to kill President Evo Morales.

It also throws major doubt on the allegation that the group was responsible for a bomb attack on the home of a senior clergyman in the days before the three men were shot dead.

“Since Michael Dwyer was killed, there was a lot of allegations out there, from people with a lot of different agendas,” said Inver’s Richard O’Donnell.

“I wanted to allow time before tackling it as a story and, four years on, the time was right.”

Mr Dwyer had worked as a security guard in the Corrib gas project in north Mayo, where a colleague enticed him to Bolivia on the promise of a specialised training course which might bring international work.

Once he landed in the South American country, he found himself in the company of a group which had vague notions of taking on the state government over a cessation row in the Santa Cruz area of Bolivia.

Mr Dwyer’s mother, Caroline, says during the documentary that her son appeared to be enjoying the novelty of life in Bolivia, rather than mixing with dangerous elements.

“They enjoyed the carnivals, social nights out, barbecues,” she said. “You’d get the impression from the emails coming home that it was more like a holiday than anything else.”

* The programme airs tonight at 10pm on Al Jazeera English on Sky channel 514, or on www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/

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