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Saturday 10 December 2016

Killing of Irishman raised with Bolivian president

Published 07/11/2015 | 02:30

Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia after being accused of taking part in a plot against President Evo Morales
Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia after being accused of taking part in a plot against President Evo Morales

The killing of an Irishman by Bolivian security forces will be raised with President Evo Morales during his historic visit to Ireland today.

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Michael Dwyer (24) was shot dead in April 2009 when officials claimed they foiled a plot to kill Mr Morales.

His mother, Caroline Dwyer, who is campaigning for a full independent inquiry into his killing, had formally requested a meeting with the president.

Instead, she will meet his foreign minister, David Choquehuanca Céspedes, to demand Bolivia agrees that a high-level group from Ireland, involving a legal expert, a ballistics expert, and an independent observer, can visit Bolivia.

"The Dwyer family is concerned that the evidence and recall relating to Michael's killing in Bolivia is falling away," said a family spokeswoman.

"The role of the fact-finding delegation would be to examine the evidence available and capture testimonies of witnesses who had an insight into Michael's killing."

Mr Morales will meet Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Flanagan and President Michael D Higgins today.

"I will take the opportunity of President Morales' visit to raise at the highest political level the case of Michael Dwyer, who died tragically in Bolivia in 2009 and whose family is anxious to establish the facts surrounding his death," Mr Flanagan said.

The Dwyer family has travelled to Bolivia, where they gathered a range of testimonies and information that confirm Mr Dwyer was not involved in a 'shoot-out', leading to his death.

Mrs Dwyer was also told by former prosecutor Marcela Soza that he was an "innocent man" who was "executed".

Irish Independent

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