Family of Michael Dwyer 'will not rest' until independent investigation carried out

Wednesday 11 April 2012 23.44
Michael Dwyer was shot and killed in 2009
Michael Dwyer was shot and killed in 2009

The family of a Tipperary man shot dead by Bolivian police have met officials from the office of EU High Commissioner for foreign and security policy Baroness Catherine Ashton.

A spokeswoman for Michael Dwyer’s family described the meeting in Brussels as positive.

They said they would follow up with a letter outlining their call for an independent investigation into the killing in April 2009.

Earlier, the family met Irish MEPs at the European Parliament, including Gay Mitchell, who has recently returned from Bolivia where he raised the case of Mr Dwyer.

Mr Mitchell said there was a clear need for an international investigation into the case because the Bolivian claim that there had been a shoot-out between police was untrue.

Ireland South MEP Phil Prendergast said she would also be supporting the family’s efforts, even if it appeared that it would be a tough campaign to secure the inquiry.

Mr Dwyer’s mother Caroline earlier vowed that the family will not rest until they get the independent investigation.

Michael's father Martin said the family is not really confident they will succeed in securing that inquiry.

He said: "We just have to hope that something is going to happen. We don't know how long more it is going to take. If it just lapses like the last three years we're going nowhere.

Michael Dwyer was 24 when he was killed by an elite police unit in a room of the Hotel Las Americas in Santa Cruz three years ago. Two other men also died. Another two were arrested.

Police claimed there had been a 30-minute firefight with the men in the hotel room.

However, the Dwyer family say ballistic evidence and eye-witnesses have proven this claim to be false.

Mrs Dwyer said today there was no shoot-out and that her son was executed by police while he was unarmed and lying in bed.

She said: "The evidence that we have got has been reviewed by forensic experts in the UK.

"From the evidence they have pieced together, from the Bolivian evidence and from all the evidence available there was no shoot-out. Michael never fired any guns. He was executed while he was asleep."

Bolivian authorities contend Mr Dwyer was part of a terrorist plot to assassinate senior officials.

The Dwyer family reject this and contend that he was in Bolivia as a bodyguard.