Martin rules out Garda role in Dwyer death investigation

FOREIGN Minister Micheál Martin has ruled out Garda involvement in the inquiry into the death of Michael Dwyer in Bolivia as more evidence emerges of the young Irishman’s links to extreme right-wing paramilitaries.

Mr Dwyer, 24, was buried on Thursday in his native Tipperary following his shooting by security forces in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on April 16.

Bolivian police investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Dwyer’s death have linked him to a plot to destabilise the South American country by murdering prominent political figures.

An alleged accomplice, Juan Carlos Gueder Bruno, who heads a far-right Bolivian organisation – the Santa Cruz Youth Council or UJC – is reported to have turned state witness. According to Bolivian media reports, Mr Gueder Bruno said he attended meetings along with Mr Dwyer during which the killing of local politicians was discussed.

Mr Gueder Bruno was meant to locate weapons for Mr Dwyer’s group.

Mr Gueder Bruno is reported as stating: “I am accused of terrorism, and my only crime was to sell a homemade weapon, an old Bren model, for $1,000.”

He added that he “withdrew from the project” when the gang’s leader, Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rozsa Flores, 48, said that he intended to assassinate two right-wing politicians allied to Mr Gueder Bruno’s organisation. He hoped this so-called “Black Flag” operation would be blamed on left-wing activists, so increasing tensions in Bolivia.

The authorities have also released pictures of Mr Dwyer posing with weapons, including a long-range sniper rifle. This evidence was backed up by a video showing Mr Dwyer at a meeting in which the possible assassination of Bolivia’s Socialist president, Evo Morales, was discussed by Mr Flores.

This video is believed to have been recorded by a taxi driver who transported the group around Santa Cruz. The driver is claimed to be seriously ill and this has prevented his cross-examination by prosecutors.

Mr Flores and Romanian-Hungarian Magyarosi Arpad, 28, died along with Mr Dwyer during a police raid. The three men were shot while still in their underwear.

The two eastern Europeans were members of a neo-fascist paramilitary gang – the Szekler Legion.

Another man, Hungarian Elod Toazo, arrested during the raid, is also a member of the group.

Members of this organisation, including one of its leaders, Révész Tibor, 32, have been employed in recent months as security guards at the controversial Corrib Shell construction site in Co Mayo.

Sinn Féin has demanded an investigation into their employment.

Mr Dwyer was employed by Integrated Risk Management Security at the site until last October. He then travelled with three eastern Europeans to Bolivia.

Despite earlier demands for Irish involvement in an international inquiry into Mr Dwyer’s death, and claims by Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche that the young man was “on holiday” when he was killed, Mr Martin yesterday accepted the Bolivian authorities’ right to conduct their own investigation.

He added: “We have made it very, very clear that we have no wish to become involved in the internal political affairs of Bolivia and that our fundamental interest is consular. We believe the family are owed a full explanation as to what has occurred and are entitled to full disclosure.”

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