The family of Michael Dwyer, the Tipperary man killed by Bolivian security forces in 2009, are looking at what options are available to them following this week’s news that two men who were with their son at the time of his death have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.
Elod Toaso from Hungary, and Mario Tadic, a Bolivian Croatian, can now apply to be freed by the Bolivian courts following a plea bargain which saw them plead guilty to charges of complicity in armed insurrection.
The two will now serve five years and 10 months, the amount of time they have been in custody since their arrest in April 2009, in lieu of a possible 25 years in jail.
Both had been in the same hotel in Santa Cruz where Mr Dwyer from Ballinderry, Borrisokane, was killed in April 2009 in what the local security forces said was a shoot-out during a raid to crackdown on subversive activity. It had been claimed that the men were part of a plot to kill President Evo Morales.
Both met Mr Dwyer’s mother, Caroline, and sister Aisling, when they visited Bolivia last September, and Mr Toaso maintained that there was no shoot-out and that he believed Mr Dwyer was alive after he left the hotel.
“There was no evidence against Mr Dwyer. He was outside that (the court process),” a spokesperson on behalf of the family told the Tipperary Star. “It has also been indicated it was a plea bargain because they had the option of release, instead of serving 25 years in jail.”
The spokesperson said that the Dwyer family will now have to look at all the options open to them to find the answers to their son’s death.
“The Bolivian authorities have always said that the trial would have to be complete before they could open up an investigation into Michael’s death. Now that there will be no trial, the family will look at options,” they said.
The spokesperson said that the Dwyers continue to maintain that an international aspect must be central to any investigation.