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Eduardo Rózsa-Flores (March 31, 1960 – April 16, 2009) was a Bolivian-Hungarian soldier, journalist, actor, secret agent, mercenary, poet and self-publicist. Born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, he was known in Hungary as Rózsa-Flores Eduardo or Rózsa György Eduardo. His wartime nickname in the War in Croatia was Chico, which is also the title of a feature film about him. He was a founding member of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association, an Opus Dei member, the editor of the nationalist portal Jobbik.net and Vice-President of the Hungarian Islamic Community.[1]

Contents

Family, early life, studies

Eduardo Rózsa-Flores was born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. His father, György (Jorge) Obermayer Rózsa was a Hungarian painter, of Jewish descent, who left Hungary in 1948 and moved to Paris. In 1952 he went to Bolivia with a French ethnographic mission.[2] He stayed on, lecturing art, and married Nelly Flores Arias, a Catalan immigrant and high school teacher.

His father was a committed communist and moved the family to Chile to escape the Hugo Banzer dictatorship in 1972, but emigrated to Sweden in 1973 after Augusto Pinochet came to power. In 1974, they moved to Hungary.

Rózsa-Flores attended secondary school in Budapest. After military service he went for a short period of intelligence training, at the KGB Academy Felix Dzerzhinsky, in the Soviet Union. He afterwards joined the Hungarian intelligence services. He later attended Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), and received his degree in 1991. He was the last Secretary of the Communist Youth Organization at ELTE in 1990. He allegedly cooperated with the Hungarian secret services as a student. His first journalism work was with the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina. In the late 80's he joined Opus Dei.[3]

Croatian war

At the start of the Yugoslav war, Rózsa-Flores – known then as Jorge Eduardo Rózsa – worked as a correspondent for the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia and the Spanish unit of the BBC World Service. He arrived in Yugoslavia in June 1991. While reporting on and witnessing the civil war there, his car (a yellow Opel rented in Zagreb) was shot at. After that he joined the Croatian National Guard in Osijek as its first foreign volunteer. During the next few years, he took part in several battles in the Slavonia area of eastern Croatia, including defending Laslovo, where he set up the Croatian army's First International Unit.[4] He later served as a commander of the special forces. Croatian president Franjo Tuđman personally granted him Croatian citizenship in appreciation of his services. He was wounded three times in battle, and obtained the rank of colonel in 1993. His unit was accused of carrying out massacres in the Slavonia area.[5] Unconfirmed press reports have linked him to the deaths of two foreign journalists also in Croatia at the time, Swiss national Christian Würtenberg (who was in the First International Unit), and British photographer Paul Jenks.[6][7][8] He was also linked to the murder of one of his soldiers Anthony Mann Grant[9] He was officially demobilized on 31 July 1994.

Death in Bolivia

On April 16, 2009, Bolivian police killed Rózsa-Flores during a raid in the Las Americas hotel in Santa Cruz. Two other people, a Hungarian Árpád Magyarosi, and Irishman Michael Dwyer, died during the action. Two others – Mario Tadic, a Croatian, and Előd Tóásó, a Hungarian – were arrested. Bolivian authorities said that Rózsa-Flores was the leader of a terrorist group which intended to assassinate Bolivian president Evo Morales.[10]

Because the circumstances surrounding the event are unclear and the goals of Rózsa-Flores's group are controversial, the Irish government has demanded an international inquiry. Press reports conflict, variously indicating that Morales has publicly stated that he does not want an international investigation,[11][12][13] and that he is happy to support such a probe.[14]

The last interview

On 21 April 2009 Hungarian Television broadcast an interview[15] recorded in September 2008 by Hungarian journalist András Kepes prior to his last trip to Bolivia, and asked Kepes not to release the interview until either he returned or in the case that something happened him.

Rózsa-Flores claimed that a Bolivian national requested him to return to Bolivia and help establish a milita for the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, in response to perceived central government abuses. He claimed that local politicians wanted to establish the militia and that he was asked to create it based upon his Croatian military experience. He claimed the militia role was to be one of self-defense in the event of aggression by either central government or native "Indian" paramilitary forces and not to attack anyone.

Bibliography

A The Filthy War book cover
  • Mocskos háború [The Filthy War] (Magyar Kapu Alapítvány, 1994 ISBN 9630070693)
  • Hallgatás hadművelet [Writings from the Yugoslav War 1991-1996] (H-Elen 55 Szolgáltató 1996 ISBN 9630475502)
  • Meghaltunk, és mégis élünk [We Died but Still We Live On] (Magyar Kapu Alapitvany 1998)
  • Hűség – Vjernost – Lealtad [Loyalty: Verses from War 1991-1996] (Magyar Kapu Alapítvány 1999 ISBN 9637706216)
  • Állapot: Két háború között [Condition: Between Two Wars] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány 2001 ISBN 9630070693)
  • Disznóságok gyűjteménye [Swine Collection] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány 2003 ISBN 9632069714)
  • 69 titok, szerelmes versek és egy magyarázat [69 Secrets, Love Poems and an Explanation] (2004)
  • 47 szúfi vers [47 Sufi Verses] (2007)

Films

  • Bolse Vita (1996), role
  • Vizualizáció (1997), main role
  • Kisváros (1997), Karvaly
  • Chico (2001), lead role

References

  1. ^ hvg.hu. "Bolivia: the "last-KISZ secretary" was shot man". Hvg.hu. http://hvg.hu/vilag/20090417_boliviai_elnok_merenylet_magyar.aspx. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  2. ^ "El Dia- Hungarian Painter in Santa Cruz". Nuevodia.glradio.com. http://nuevodia.glradio.com/versiones/20070412_007063/nota_246_413372.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  3. ^ "El Deber interview with Ricardo Herrera in Spanish". Eldeber.com.bo. http://www.eldeber.com.bo/2009/2009-04-12/vernotaahora.php?id=090416211200. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  4. ^ Dogs of War (Mercenaries) (documentary film)BBC 1992
  5. ^ "UN Report Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights". Unhchr.ch. http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/0/9c7293cd53263251802566f7005f53ca?Opendocument. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  6. ^ "El Pais Spaniard accused of ordering Journalist's assassination in Croatia (in Spanish)". Elpais.com. http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/BALCANES/YUGOSLAVIA/CROACIA/GUERRA_DE_LOS_BALCANES_/1991-1995/brigadista/espanol/Croacia/acusado/ordenar/asesinato/periodista/elpepiint/19920227elpepiint_25/Tes. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  7. ^ The Reasonable Doubt/La Duda Razonabl TV Espanola Spain/Spanish language; 1995
  8. ^ Travels with my camera, channel4, documentary film
  9. ^ "Book of the dead Croatia". Cfiva.org. http://www.cfiva.org/cfiva/remembrances/index.cfm?fuseaction=details&bookID=30. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  10. ^ ANTONIO REGALADO, MARGIT FEHER (2009-04-20). "Cast of Characters in Bolivia 'Plot' – WSJ.com". Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123999615217729841.html. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  11. ^ "Noticias EL DIARIO – Primera página". Eldiario.net. http://www.eldiario.net/noticias/2009/2009_04/nt090422/2_01plt.php. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  12. ^ "La Jornada: Rechaza Evo Morales una investigación internacional del intento de magnicidio". Jornada.unam.mx. 2009-04-22. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/04/22/index.php?section=mundo&article=031n1mun. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  13. ^ "Bolivia President Rejects Inquiry Into Deaths of Those Involved in Alleged Assassination Plot – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News". FOXNews.com. 2009-04-21. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517356,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  14. ^ "BBC – Bolivia leader backs plot probe". BBC News. 2009-04-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8013617.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  15. ^ "Second (secret) interview in 2008 by András Kepes (video – Hungarian)". Mtv.hu. http://www.mtv.hu/videotar/?id=31375. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 

External links

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