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RTÉ Special on Michael Dwyer, Bolivia, and the Truth
international | arts and media | news report Thursday November 26, 2009 23:38 by ERS
RTÉ Primetime Investigates next Thursday is a special on the death of Michael Dwyer.
Last April Bolivian police raided a hotel in Santa Cruz. They shot dead Michael Dwyer, Eduardo Rozsa Flores, a well known Croatian-Bolivian fascist, and Arpad Magyarosi, a Romanian with Hungarian citizenship. Two others were arrested. In the following days the Bolivian authorities said that the gang around Flores were working to spark a civil war leading to the secession of the natural gas rich Santa Cruz region.
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So a group of peaceful young men were spending a few months hanging a round a few hotels in Bolivia. This was costing them a fortune, but they seemed to have no money worries. They chose to meet up in Bolivia because- well, because it's a great place! Why not hang around in Hotels in Santa Cruz?
All that stuff about nazi style badges, croatian mercenaries, posing with a sniper rifle and other guns, issuing threats, Shell gas pipelines etc etc, - that was all just high spirits.
Anyway, then the Bolivian police just showed up and killed them (well not all of them, some of them were arrested) for absolutely no reason. Just by chance really.
Someone said that there would be uproar if there had been extra-judicial executions in the 1980's in Ireland. Weren't there many such killings? In Ireland, and many other places?
Diarmuid O'Neill for instance was killed in London in his hotel room. There are differences between this case and that one though- O'Neill was unarmed, naked, and shot ten times after being gassed. You also won't find any pictures of him anywhere posing with guns. Nor will you find RTE making a special investigation programme into his death.
Whatever happened in Bolivia, things were not very innocent in Mayo.
Michael Dwyer (second from left) with IRMS boss Jim Farrell (yellow hat) at Shell's pipeline works in Glengad, County Mayo
One of the badges availble on the website of the neo-fascist Szeckler Legion group
This programme is starting on RTE now.
Program was far too focused on Dwyer rather than those who sent him to his death but at least it got beyond the poor innocent abroad approach that the Irish media has used as a cover up. IRMS and Shell now have some serious questions to answer
When did each of the individuals who went from the Shell compound in Erris to Bolivia cease to work for Shell/IRMS
When did each of the individuals who returned from Bolivia resume work for Shell/IRMS (we know at least 3 did)
What was the extent of water training that Dwyer received?
What is the current connection between Shell and Banco, the 25% shareholder with Shell in the nationalised gas pipeline in Bolivia
What was the nature of the special armed protection services that IRMS advertised on its website before Dwyer was killed
And (because it needs to be said) the bulk of the factual information was first published here on indymedia back in June at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92865 and with one or two exceptions was ignored by every one of the hundreds of 'professional' journalists in Ireland despite the intense nature of the confrontation in Mayo.
Yeah Fred, Hungarian mercenaries, bombings, oil companies paying to destabilize a state and take their resources, a shootout resulting in three corpses being dragged from a hotel in the middle of the night, very bland alright.
Walter Mitty didn't have a real gun with real bullets, did he?
The programme is available on the rte player here: http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1061676. Hopeful it will go up on youtube at some point too.
Och aye. That link states only viewable in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
SHELL and IRMS ‘QUESTIONS TO ANSWER’ ON BOLIVIA KILLING OF IRISH YOUTH
The Shell to Sea group has called on the oil company Shell, its security contractor IRMS and its partners in the Corrib Gas Project to answer key questions raised again by last night’s Prime Time Special on the killing of young Irishman Michael Dwyer.
The documentary describes how Michael Dwyer ‘met people who would change the course of his life’ while working on Shell’s controversial gas pipeline in Co. Mayo. He travelled to Bolivia together with a group of other former employees of Shell’s Irish security company IRMS; their flights were paid for by wealthy businessmen who supported groups which aimed to overthrow Bolivia’s leftist government (which has nationalised its oil and gas). The Tipperary native was recruited into a far-right armed group, part funded by oil and gas companies, and according to testimony presented in the documentary, became a confidant of its leader, Eduardo Rosza Flores. His involvement with the group eventually led to his death in April in a police raid on the hotel in which he was staying with other militia members.
IRMS tactics in policing the protests at Shell sites in Co. Mayo have been consistently violent, and have seen a number of local residents subjected to disturbing surveillance, intimidation and physical attacks. In April, protestor Willie Corduff, one of the original ‘Rossport Five’, was beaten severely by masked men, while on a Shell compound which was heavily staffed with IRMS security personnel. A few weeks later, the fishing boat of protestor and local fisherman Pat O’Donnell was sunk at night. O’Donnell reported that his boat was boarded by a group of armed men wearing wetsuits who held him and his crew member at gunpoint while they sank the boat.
In the light of the documented violent activities of IRMS under contract to Shell in the Corrib gas project, Shell to Sea demands that the Irish government put the following questions to Shell E&P Ireland Ltd and its partners Statoil and Valencia:
• Are IRMS using Glengad as a recruiting and training ground for global mercenaries?
• Did the Irish government vet all security staff working for IRMS on the Shell sites in Co. Mayo?
• When did each of the individuals who went from the Shell compound in Erris to Bolivia cease to work for Shell/IRMS?
• When did each of the individuals who returned from Bolivia resume work for Shell/IRMS?
• What is the current connection between Shell and Banco, the 25% shareholder with Shell in the nationalised gas pipeline in Bolivia?
• What was the nature of the special armed protection services that IRMS advertised on its website before Dwyer was killed, and do they offer them in Glengad?
The community in Rossport and Glengad have repeatedly expressed concerns that Shell and IRMS have been given free rein in Mayo, with no accountability, security checks or monitoring of their links to international mercenaries, fascists and moneyed terrorists.
Two weeks ago, Cristian Domínguez of the Bolivian Confederation of Peasant Workers handed a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs requesting a full investigation by the Irish Government into the involvement of Irish security company, IRMS, with right wing mercenary elements in eastern Europe, and anti government paramilitary forces operating in Bolivia. Mr. Domínguez is a survivor of the massacre of Pando in 2008 which was carried out by anti-government forces aligned with those who recruited Michael Dwyer.
“As campaigners for social justice as well as members of our own families, we are anxious not to add to the grief of the Dwyer family. Nevertheless the issues raised by the Prime Time documentary are too great to be ignored and have implications for how the law is being applied in modern Ireland and in whose interests this country is being governed,” said Shell to Sea spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins / Gary Ronaghan.
Link to Shell to Sea press release on Prime Time Special which provides context for the above piece.
The link is to an article on a letter handed in to the Minister for Foreign Affairs from Bolivian civil society groups in Europe. It was handed in at Stephen's Green by Cristian Domínguez, of the Bolivian Confederation of Peasant Workers, and it calls on Minister for Foreign Affairs Michael Martin to fully investigate the activities of IRMS in the context of Michael Dwyer's death and other events.
Immediately previous post was an error, apologies.
for those not in Ireland, the film is on youtube at the link
Conspirators charged. "Bolivian prosecutors have charged 39 people over an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales and launch an armed rebellion last year.
They include opposition politicians and a former general who captured the guerrilla leader Che Guevara in 1967.
The alleged plot was uncovered in April 2009, when Bolivan police killed three suspected European mercenaries in the eastern city of Santa Cruz. "