An Irishman killed by Bolivian police who apparently foiled a plot to kill president Evo Morales had no criminal record, an Irish government minister has said, apparently to deny involvement. But Michael Dwyer’s fellow plotters—two Croatians, a Romanian, and a Hungarian, all had demonstrable rightwing fascistoid pasts and affiliations, and fit the “merc” profile well. It’s worth recalling that Croatia and Romania, as well as Hungary, to this day harbor sizable numbers of unrepentant reactionaries. All three nations collaborated with Nazi Germany in WW2 and sent armies to fight alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front. Many of their nationals fled to Latin America during the postwar period, fomenting the growth of neofascist formations throughout the continent. Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Brazil and Argentina got a significant number of such characters. —Eds.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is working to repatriate Dwyer’s body.
The rightwing opposition to President Morales is thought to have organized and paid for the plot, whose ultimate objective was to create internal chaos and decapitate the administration of Pres. Evo Morales, a revolutionary left leader. Bolivia’s police, loyal to Morales, suspect that the plot has connections with foreign intelligence agencies, as well, chiefly the American services.
In a statement, his family said they were devastated by the death of the 24-year-old from Ballinderry, County Tipperary. They said they were grateful for the support, love and prayers of their wider family, friends and their local community. The Republic of Ireland has no embassy in Bolivia and an official from the Irish embassy in Argentina has travelled to La Paz. Graphic images of Mr Dwyer were published in the Bolivian press.
Confusion surrounds the precise nature of events surrounding the shooting, which led to the death of the graduate of construction management from Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology. Local Tipperary Fine Gael councillor Ger Darcy said the close-knit rural community had been stunned by the news. “There is complete shock. It’s bad enough to lose a son or a daughter without it being under these circumstances,” he said. A page on a social networking site which belonged to Mr Dwyer has been taken down. On another social networking site he is listed as a friend of one of the other dead men, Eduardo Rozsa Flores. Tributes have been left on the site by friends and family. On one of the sites he listed among his interests, pistol shooting and airsoft, a plastic-pellet firing combat game. He is pictured wearing combat fatigues.
Three men, including Mr Dwyer, died and two others were arrested in the eastern city of Santa Cruz after police fought a gun battle with what Bolivian authorities described as a “mercenary gang”. Police said two of the five fought for Croatian independence after the break-up of former Yugoslavia. The three others are said to be Irish, Romanian and Hungarian. The gun battle took place in Santa Cruz, an eastern Bolivian city and hub of anti-Morales sentiment.