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A key witness in the case of the shooting dead of Irishman Michael Dwyer, by Bolivian police, has said he confessed after being tortured.
Dwyer, from Tipperary was killed in Santa Cruz when police raided a hotel room on April 16, 2009. Bolivian authorities have said the men were involved in a terrorist campaign aimed at killing President Evo Morales.
Ignacio Villa Vargas’s confession had claimed that the Irishman was involved in the supposed terrorist threat. However Vargas showed a Bolivian TV station what he alleges are torture marks and said that he had feared for his safety since testifying in April 2009 to police.
After the hotel raid, Vargas was picked up by police after been identified by them as a local fixer for Eduardo Rózsa Flores, the supposed ringleader of the terrorist group.
Speaking to the Red Uno channel, Vargos said that Rózsa Flores was part of a terrorist movement aimed at partitioning Bolivia.
“A group was formed . . . to divide the country. This is not a lie,” he said.
He told the channel that authorities tortured him with electric cables and coerced him into confessing.
A spokesperson for Bolivia’s government denied the claims.
Michael Dwyer’s family have always denied that he was involved in a terrorist organization. They are calling for an independent international inquiry and in a 28-page submission to the UN’s special rapporteur claim their evidence shows “there was no shoot-out, just a cold-blooded execution”.
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