Bolivia’s opposition has claimed that the government bribed a key witness involved in the investigation surrounded the shooting of Michael Dwyer. They claimed the government is attempting to involve its leaders in a plot to assassinate the president.
A video showing unidentified men being recorded giving $31,500 to Ignacio Villa Vargas and offering the chance to flee to Argentina has emergence. Villa Vargas told the authorities that the group Dwyer was with was in contact with the leading opponents of the president, Evo Morales.
In April 2009, Dwyer and two other men were shot during a police raid at their hotel in east Santa Cruz. The authorities say they moved in on the men after the group initiated a terrorist campaign to kill Morales and bring independence to the country.
Dwyer’s family and the opposition government believe that the men were executed while they slept.
Following the hotel raid Villa Vargus was picked up and identified as a local fixer for Eduardo Rózsa Flores, the supposed leader of Dwyer’s group.
The newly emerged video shows him being bribed to stay out of the country for six months at least. Those who handed over the money would then contact him again. The public official who hands over the money in the video has since disappeared.
Head of the opposition-led Santa Cruz autonomy movement, Luis Núñez that this video proves the government is tampering with these affairs in order to discredit the opposition.
In a statement he said “There was never any terrorism . . . but a plot set to destroy the autonomy leadership.”
Villa Vargas was reported missing two months after the police raid on the Santa Cruz hotel.
This video is just one in a series of videos and photographs released which complicate the Bolivian government’s version of the events which led to Michael Dwyer’s murder and the motives for his groups presence in Bolivia.