Bolivians arrest two more men in ‘murder plot’ case

AS the family of the Tipperary man accused of plotting to murder the President of Bolivia prepare to bury him later today, it has emerged two more men have been arrested in the south American country in relation to the alleged plot.

The two men, one identified as Juan Carlos Gueder Bruno, a 48-year-old activist with a militant neo-fascist group based in Santa Cruz, the other an unnamed Paraguayan national, were arrested separately by Bolivian forces. Juan Carlos’ niece told how six men stopped her uncle’s car as he went to pick up his children from school with his wife, Martha.

Alejandra Ibañez said: “They jumped out of a white Land Cruiser that cut up my uncle’s car.

“One forced Martha to lie face-down on the ground while he pointed his weapon at her and the others bundled Juan Carlos into the van. They didn’t identify themselves as police and they looked more like soldiers. It felt like he was being kidnapped. We felt helpless.”

The two men are suspected of supplying weapons that Bolivian authorities claim were to be used in the assassination attempt.

The latest men to be arrested were taken from Santa Cruz to the country’s capital, La Paz, where two other men are being held in relation to the alleged plot.

It was in the Hotel Las Americas in Santa Cruz where 24-year-old Michael Dwyer and two other men were shot dead by security forces on April 16.

There is mounting speculation that the three men did not, as Bolivian forces claim, die in a 30-minute gunfight which they started.

Yesterday the media in Hungary, the adopted country of one of the other slain men, Eduardo Rosza Flores, reported they appear to have been summarily executed.

“There are concerns that several regulations were violated by the operation. There was no court search warrant for the hotel and no representative of the state prosecutor was present as required by Bolivian law. Even the police of Santa Cruz did not know of the operation, which was carried out by units that were flown in,” said a report in the Budapest Times. That would tie in with reports that the men’s hands appeared to be bound in graphic photographs taken at the scene; that they were in their underwear and appeared to have been asleep before they were shot; that the hotel staff found no evidence of bullets being fired out of the men’s rooms.

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