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This handout photo provided by the family of the deceased on April 21, 2009 shows an undated photo of Michael Dwyer, 24, a construction management graduate in an unknown location. Dwyer 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. The family of an Irishman shot dead by Bolivian police said today that claims he was involved in an assassination plot against President Evo Morales were "absolutely ridiculous". Photo by: AFP/Getty Images

Family of Michael Dwyer, Irishman gunned down in Bolivia, meets with UN officials

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This handout photo provided by the family of the deceased on April 21, 2009 shows an undated photo of Michael Dwyer, 24, a construction management graduate in an unknown location. Dwyer 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. The family of an Irishman shot dead by Bolivian police said today that claims he was involved in an assassination plot against President Evo Morales were "absolutely ridiculous". Photo by: AFP/Getty Images

The family of Michael Dwyer, the Tipperary man who was shot and killed in Bolivia in 2009, met with UN officials on Thursday regarding the case. Dwyer’s family believes that Michael was gunned down in his sleep, and discount a plot conspiracy as reason for his death.

The Irish Times reports on the 2009 death of Michael Dwyer that has since left lingering questions.

Dwyer had left Ireland for Bolivia in order to train in the security business. The 24 year old NUI Galway graduate had taken up a work in personal security while in the foreign country.

Authorities in Santa Cruz, Bolivia claimed Michael Dwyer was one of three men believed to be part of a right-wing plot to kill president Evo Morales. Dwyer was killed in a shoot-out at the Hotel Las Americas in Santa Cruz on April 16th 2009.

Dwyer’s family, however, believes that evidence shows Dwyer was not involved in a shoot-out, but rather he was killed while he was asleep. The family believes that the terrorism plot was concocted by the authorities, and that have since been stonewalling efforts for investigation.

On Thursday at the UN, the family met with UN officials attached to Christof Heyns, special rapporteur on ex-judicial killings in Geneva. They held a second meeting with Ireland’s permanent representation to the UN.

They presented to the UN officials the findings of a postmortem conducted by State pathologist Dr. Marie Cassidy, as well as an independent report by UK forensics expert, Keith Borer. Both reports show that Dwyer was shot in the heart.

“To have an opportunity to meet and put our case was a very useful and welcome opportunity,” said Dwyer’s family.

“Significantly, we learned that the UN special rapporteur has already corresponded with the Bolivian authorities and - to this end - issued a 'letter of allegation’ on 9th August 2011.”

“We now hope that - based on the information we provided today, including that of Dr Marie Cassidy and the report of the independent forensic expert, Keith Borer - the special rapporteur will be equipped to resume work on our case.”

“As a family, we can only knock on doors and assert pressure. We feel that today an important door has been opened and we hope for progress into establishing the reasons behind Michael's execution in April 2009.”

Last September, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore met with the Dwyer family.

“Ireland’s embassy in Buenos Aires, which is accredited to Bolivia, as well as Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the United Nations in Geneva, also continue to be engaged with regard to this case,” said the Department in a statement.

“A number of representations have also been made to the Bolivian authorities, in which it has been indicated that we would be willing to participate in any way which might be helpful with an independent, international investigation into the death of Mr Dwyer on 16 April 2009.”

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin, who was minister for foreign affairs at the time of  Dwyer’s death, added that “The Bolivian government has serious questions to answer about the actions taken on the night Michael was killed and since.”

He called upon the UN to support the Dwyer family in their investigation into Michael’s death.

Martin added, “The Dwyer family have suffered a huge loss and their pain was made worse by the false allegations that were made immediately after Michael’s death and the continued refusal of the Bolivian government to deal with this case openly.”

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