Family of man killed in Bolivia to meet MEPs


THE FAMILY of Irishman Michael Dwyer, shot dead by Bolivian police in 2009, will today meet Irish MEPs in Brussels as part of their campaign for the European Union to put pressure on Bolivian authorities for an independent international investigation.

Mr Dwyer’s parents Caroline and Martin and his sister Aisling are also seeking a meeting with the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Ms Dwyer said yesterday the family was frustrated by the time lapse since the killing of her son and the lack of an international investigation into his death.

“We are hoping to further mobilise the European institutions – through the group of Irish MEPs and the high representative’s office – into putting pressure on the Bolivian authorities to provide answers to our questions on the circumstances of Michael’s killing.”

Mr Dwyer (24) was one of three men killed on April 16th, 2009, in what the Bolivian government claims was an armed confrontation with police in a hotel in the city of Santa Cruz, a claim the family and legal experts have rejected with eyewitness and video evidence, postmortem and ballistics reports.

The family said yesterday no comprehensive police reports had been made available to them or to external authorities and it “remains unclear as to who killed Michael Dwyer and who provided the authorisation for his killing”.

Croatian Mario Tadic and Hungarian Elod Toasa were arrested during the raid and have been held for three years. Their trial is expected to start this month.

Fine Gael Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell last week visited Bolivia as part of the EU’s development committee, met the two prisoners and raised the case with both Bolivia’s foreign minister David Choquehuanca and the country’s vice-president Alvaro Garcia.