Eduardo Rózsa-Flores

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Eduardo Rózsa-Flores (31 March 1960 – 16 April 2009) was a Bolivian-Hungarian-Croatian mercenary, journalist, actor, and secret agent. 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 Croatian War of Independence was "Chico".

Family, early life, studies[edit]

Eduardo Rózsa-Flores was born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. His father, György Obermayer Rózsa, was a Hungarian Jewish painter, who left Hungary in 1948, moving first to Paris, and, in 1952, to Bolivia with a French ethnographic mission, adopting the forename Jorge.[1] He stayed on, lecturing art, and married Nelly Flores Arias, a Catalan immigrant and high school teacher. A committed communist, Jorge Rózsa 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.[citation needed]

Rózsa-Flores attended secondary school in Budapest. After military service he went for a short period of intelligence training, at the Felix Dzerzhinsky KGB Academy in the Soviet Union. He later joined the Hungarian intelligence services. He attended Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), earning his degree in 1991. He was the last Secretary of the Communist Youth Organization at ELTE in 1990. He allegedly had cooperated with the Hungarian secret services as a student. His first journalism work was for Cuba's Prensa Latina. In the late 1980s he reportedly joined Opus Dei.[2]

War[edit]

At the start of the Croatian War of Independence, 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 was shot at.

In the autumn of 1991, he joined the Croatian National Guard in Osijek as its first foreign volunteer, and he took part in several battles in Slavonia, mostly defending Laslovo, where he set up the Croatian army's First International Unit.[3][4]

He later served as a commander of the special forces. He was wounded three times in battle, and obtained the rank of colonel in 1993. Unconfirmed press reports have linked him to the deaths of two foreign journalists also in Croatia at that time, Swiss national Christian Würtenberg (who was in the First International Unit) and British photographer Paul Jenks.[5][6][7]

He was promoted to major and then to a colonel in the Croatian Army.[4] He was officially demobilized on 31 July 1994.

Later life and death[edit]

Rózsa-Flores obtained Croatian citizenship.[8][4][9][10][11] After the war, he mostly lived in Budapest.[4]

Chico was the title of a feature film based on his life, in which he starred.[12]

On 16 April 2009, Bolivian police killed Rózsa-Flores during a raid in the Las Americas hotel in Santa Cruz. Two others, a Hungarian national, Árpád Magyarosi and an Irish citizen, Michael Martin Dwyer, were also killed.[13] 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. In 2011, members of the Police unit that performed the raid were awarded the Medal of Valor.[14]

Last interview[edit]

On 21 April 2009, Magyar Televízió (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 he returned or in case something happened to him. [clarification needed] Rózsa-Flores claimed a citizen of Bolivia had requested him to return to Bolivia to establish a milita in Santa Cruz, in response to perceived central government abuses.[citation needed]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Mocskos háború [The Filthy War] (Bereményi Könyvkiadó, 1994 ISBN 963-00-7069-3)
  • Hallgatás hadművelet [Writings from the Yugoslav War 1991-1996] (H-Elen 55 Szolgáltató 1996 ISBN 963-04-7550-2)
  • Meghaltunk, és mégis élünk [We Died but Still We Live On] (Alexandra Könyvkiadó, Pécs 1998 ISBN 963-367-642-8)
  • Hűség – Vjernost – Lealtad [Loyalty: Verses from War 1991-1996] (Magyar Kapu Alapítvány 1999 ISBN 963-7706-21-6)
  • Állapot: Két háború között [Condition: Between Two Wars] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány 2001 ISBN 963-00-7069-3)
  • Disznóságok gyűjteménye [Swine Collection] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány 2003 ISBN 963-206-971-4)
  • 69 titok, szerelmes versek és egy magyarázat [69 Secrets, Love Poems and an Explanation] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány 2004)
  • 47 szúfi vers [47 Sufi Verses] (Magyar a Magyarért Alapítvány2007)

Films[edit]

  • Bolse Vita (1996)
  • Vizualizáció (1997)
  • Kisváros (TV series) (1997) as "Karvaly"
  • Chico (2001), in the lead role

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hungarian Painter in Santa Cruz". Nuevodia.glradio.com. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "El Deber interview with Ricardo Herrera in Spanish". El Deber. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Dogs of War (Mercenaries) (documentary film), BBC 1992
  4. ^ a b c d Ponoš, Tihomir (4 January 2011). "Bolivijski predsjednik Morales htio tužiti Hrvatsku zbog Chica" (in Croatian). Novi list. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Spaniard accused of ordering journalist's assassination in Croatia (in Spanish)". Elpais.com. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  6. ^ The Reasonable Doubt/La Duda Razonable on TV Espanola Spain (in Spanish; 1995)
  7. ^ "Travels with my camera", Channel 4 documentary film
  8. ^ "Osnovana radna skupina za Boliviju" (in Croatian). Nova TV. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Premec, Tina (17 April 2009). "'Zaljubio se u rakiju i kulen'" (in Croatian). Jutarnji list. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Fitzpatrick, Brian (18 April 2012). "Family of Michael Dwyer, Irishman killed in Bolivia, seeks answers". IrishCentral. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Romero, Simon (27 April 2009). "Plot Foiled? In Bolivia, Truth Is Elusive". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  12. ^ hvg.hu. "Bolivia: the "last-KISZ secretary" was shot man" (in Hungarian). Heti Világgazdaság. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  13. ^ Sherwell, Philip (20 April 2009). "My meeting with the man accused of plotting the assassination of Evo Morales". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  14. ^ http://eju.tv/2011/04/los-que-acribillaron-a-rzsa-son-hroes-gobierno-premia-a-la-ex-utarc
  15. ^ "Second (secret) video interview in 2008 by András Kepes (in Hungarian)". Mtv.hu. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 

External links[edit]