European Parliament calls for international inquiry into Michael Dwyer killing in Bolivia

Michael Dwyer, 24, a construction management graduate, was one of three people shot dead when Bolivian police raided a hotel in the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz on April 16, 2009.

Europe’s parliament has called for an international inquiry into the 2009 killing of Irishman Michael Dwyer and two other EU citizens by Bolivian police.

Dwyer was shot dead by police after Bolivia’s government claimed he was part of a group planning to assassinate president Evo Morales.

Dwyer’s family have collected evidence which they say proves their son was summarily executed by Bolivian authorities.

He was shot following a police raid on the hotel where he and the four other men were staying in the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz.

A resolution passed by the European Parliament follows the submission to the United Nations of evidence gathered by the family as they seek a ‘fair and independent trial.’

The European Parliament has also demanded that Bolivian authorities ‘ensure a fair and independent trial’ for Elod Tóásó and Mario Tadic, the two EU citizens arrested on the night Dwyer was killed.

The pair are currently on trial in Bolivia along with 37 Bolivians linked to the political opposition accused of terrorism.

The Irish Times
reports that the EU resolution has called into question the legitimacy of the proceedings against them as they were held in custody before their trial ‘in disregard of the Bolivian law.’

The paper says the court proceedings in Bolivia have long since descended into farce.

The public prosecutor who led the investigation resigned after evidence emerged that authorities blackmailed witnesses and tampered with evidence.

The government’s main lawyer at the trial was arrested during proceedings following accusations he had sought to extort money from a US citizen held in Bolivia on drug charges.

The EU resolution has provoked a strong reaction from Bolivian authorities. They have labeled it ‘an unwise act of neo-colonialism by right-wing factions of the European Parliament.’

Bolivia’s foreign minister David Choquehuanca expressed Bolivia’s ‘indignation’ at the resolution: “It failed to recognise the reality of the case and violates the principles of co-existence between states.”