An Irishman shot to death by the Bolivian Army in April 2009 was lured to his death, a new Wikileaks document claims.
Michael Dwyer, a 24-year-old man from Tipperary, was one of the three men shot in Santa Cruz last April 16th over an alleged plot to assassinate president Evo Morales.
Wikileaks quotes a U.S. Embassy cable which states the government set Dwyer and his fellow paramilitary gang members up in order to attack opponents of the Evo Morales government.
Bolivian investigators later claimed to have found email correspondence linking one of the men shot to Istvan Belovai, a former Hungarian military intelligence officer who defected to the U.S. in 1990 and later became a CIA agent.
But United States diplomats say this was a hoax and Dwyer was lured to his death as part of a plot by Bolivia’s own intelligence services aimed at Morales opponents.
The diplomatic cable from La Paz released by Wikileaks says Dwyer was hired by disguised Bolivian intelligence agents and set up to mount a phony terrorist campaign.
The cable says this campaign would have given President Evo Morales an excuse to go after right wing critics of his.
The cable quotes a local source saying Dwyer and the two others were shot in order to “erase tracks.’
The source interviewed by US officials stated that Rózsa Flores, the leader of Dwyer’s ‘terrorists’ group, was contracted by Col Jorge Santiesteban, head of police intelligence, and his deputy, Capt Wálter Andrade.
The cable appears to be backed up by evidence from La Razon newspaper in Bolivia, which received photographs dated from January 2007 and appeared to show Capt Andrade socialising with Rózsa Flores.
Sacha Llorenti, Bolivia’s interior minister has called the leaked cable “gossip." Bolivia’s public prosecutor last month charged 39 people in the alleged plot including many opposition leaders who have fled the country.
The Dwyer family continue to press the Irish governemnt for help in finding out exactly what happened to their son.