MEPs to meet Bolivia shooting victim’s family

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

Mystery surrounds the death of Michael Dwyer, from Ballinderry, Co Tipperary, who was one of three men killed in a police shooting in Santa Cruz in Apr 2009. The 24-year-old had been working as a security guard when he died during what local police claimed was a gunfight at the hotel he was staying in.

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

However, Mr Dwyer’s family has argued he 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 EU can exercise some pressure in bringing about accountability and answers surrounding the killing of Michael Dwyer,” said a family spokesman.

“The family continues to maintain close communication with the Tánaiste 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, arguing that no reports have been compiled outlining who killed Mr Dwyer and who authorised it.

His mother and father Caroline and Martin, and sister Aisling, are travelling to the European Parliament today where they will meet Ireland’s MEPs.

They have also requested a meeting with officials from the office of UN high representative Catherine Ashton.

An inquest carried out by the Dublin county coroner in Oct 2009 found Mr Dwyer had died following a shot to the heart.

A following report contradicted claims from Bolivian police that Mr Dwyer had been armed and involved in a gunfight.

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