Hungarians in Bolivia

The Hungarian political scene is relatively quiet at the moment. The MSZP and SZDSZ caucuses are planning to do something against holocaust denial, but knowing the Hungarian Constitutional Court most likely nothing will come of it. Another Gypsy was killed, this time in Tiszalök. This man certainly wasn't stealing wood from the nearby forest. Both he and his wife had jobs and lived in relative comfort. He was just getting into his car around 6 p.m. to go to work when he was shot dead. The police are madly looking for the perpetrator whom they suspect has military training and might be responsible for two earlier assassinations.

The question of military training takes us straight to Bolivia and perhaps reveals something about the Hungarian far right as well. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry's reaction to the Bolivian attack on the Bolivian-Hungarian-Croatian-Irish "terrorists" has been, in my opinion, somewhat hasty. Although the new foreign minister keeps repeating that the Hungarian government considers this case a "consular" matter, the first announcements were tinged with political overtones. That is, the Hungarians don't think that Rózsa-Flores and his co-conspirators were terrorists. Neither do the journalists. The word "terrorists" is always in quotation marks. Here is a good example. Boliviafegyverek2The caption reads: "Confiscated weapons from 'terrorists' in Santa Cruz: A show?" In brief, they consider the Bolivian allegations baseless. As far as I can ascertain, Rózsa-Flores might not have wanted to assassinate Evo Morales, but he certainly went to Bolivia to organize an army. Meanwhile MTV aired a video by András Kepes who has a weekly program called "Strange Stories." Eduardo Rózsa-Flores, an old friend of Kepes, approached him to videotape a conversation that Kepes was supposed to keep  secret and release only in the event of Rózsa-Flores's death. The conversation took place on September 8, 2008. Rózsa-Flores told Kepes that he had been approached by people from Bolivia asking him to come and organize an army that was supposed to defend the eastern provinces' autonomy from the central government. Although he emphasized that this army was supposed to act only in self-defense, by the end it was clear that if Santa Cruz's aim of autonomy was in any way threatened, this army was ready to engage in a civil war. Rózsa-Flores and his co-conspirators received money for travel expenses to Brazil where "his friends" waited for him at the airport. They took him by car to the "green zone" and on foot he crossed the border illegally through the jungle. On the other side, friends met him and took him to Santa Cruz. In the video Rózsa-Flores didn't mention anyone else, but he must have recruited men from the Székely Legion made up of Transylvanian Hungarians living in Hungary.

The video offered some interesting tidbits about Rózsa-Flores's life. A few years ago he bought a house in a village somewhere in northern Hungary. On the solid wooden fence one can see MONDJON LE! in large white letters. "Resign!" in English. When Kepes inquired who should resign, he jokingly said: "Everybody should resign!" It is of course obvious whom he had in mind: Ferenc Gyurcsány. After all, Fidesz had demanded the same for years. Gyurcsány's picture was plastered on some kind of damaged military object and the rumor spread that Rózsa-Flores practiced target shooting there. That turned out not to be the case. However, he had a somewhat damaged Stalin bust in his backyard with a whole in its head. Rózsa-Flores said something to Kepes about using the bust as a vessel for "vomiting" after drinking bouts. However, people remember when Rózsa-Flores's room was full of Lenin and Che Guevara pictures and Stalin statues. That time not as a joke. In his yard one can also find Christ on the cross alongside Stalin and Gyurcsány. All sorts of helmets that Rózsa-Flores had collected over the years were placed in a row . He mentioned something about trips to Baghdad, Indonesia, Sudan, and his conversion to Islam. However, his conversion didn't prevent him from serving as an altar boy in the local Catholic church.

It is fascinating how Rózsa-Flores's image has been morphing of late in certain circles. Kepes thinks that he was a unique individual who cannot be labeled simply as a left- or a right-winger. A unique individual who fought for the liberation of people in general. However, the bits and pieces that emerge from his past life show an erratic individual who began his career, most likely under the influence of his father, on the far left. According to an anonymous friend, he even spent some time in the school of the KGB in Moscow. He apparently worked for the Hungarian secret service as an informer. One of his daily reports about a meeting of the democratic opposition in Hungary actually became public. Later he became active in Fidesz. But then he moved farther to the right.

Another admirer of Rózsa-Flores is Ibolya Fekete, the writer and director of the film Chico  (2001) in which Rózsa-Flores more or less plays himself in the Serbian-Croatian war of the early 1990s. The film is going to be shown again because of the great interest. Opinions on the film vary. Some find it a pseudo-documentary, no more than a travelogue through five countries. One can read some viewer comments here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0251636/usercomments

Rózsa-Flores had to be a very persuasive man to convince inexperienced young men to travel to Bolivia to fight for a cause they knew nothing about except what Rózsa-Flores told them. One of these men, originally from Transylvania, is dead. Another was badly beaten. Yesterday I heard that another Hungarian was arrested: Tibor Révész, the founder of the Székely Légió. When I tried to learn something about the Légió I found a website and there an anonymous comment: "Tibor Révész, you're responsible for the death of Árpád Magyarosi." Although the Székely Légió vigorously denied Romanian accusations that it was a paramilitary organization established to fight for the autonomy of those two or three Romanian counties where Hungarians are in the majority, perhaps Romanian intelligence wasn't that far off after all. I hasten to add that the whole thing sounds to me like a childish enterprise without the slightest chance of success.

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Member

Looks like Rozsda-Flores liked fighting for a cause, but was just not that selective about the cause.
Unfortunately I think that this is a growing trend in Europe. The boundaries between the far left, the far right and Islamist groups are becoming increasingly blurred. Look at Durban 2 at the UN beginning with a holocaust denier’s speech – such ideas are now de rigeur amongst the Guardian reading left.
People have a quest for meaning and they seem to want to fulfill it by butchering their fellow humans to bring about an imagined utopia.
When it comes to what R-F was actually doing, it looks highly likely that he was organizing some sort of separatist movement. It also looks highly likely that his group were shot whilst unarmed by Bolivian police and the Morales assassination story looks pretty shaky.

Member

That should be Rozsa-Flores, sorry about the typo…

Odin's lost eye
Guest
What a remarkable collection of weapons. The one in the foreground looks like a Remington automatic (self loading) shot gun. The second from the front looks like a Stirling Sub machine gun. I have never seen one with a wooden stock, most had a metal ‘T’ or a folding stock. I believe some were sold in the USA, but these were made to fire single shots to conform to BFAT rules and could not be used on full automatic. This may be one of these. I knew the Stirling well and always preferred it to the Lanchester we had. The magazine can be rotated round the barrel to make it safe(er). The confounded things would fire if you looked at them cross-eyed. Some were sold to/made by the Brazilian army. They are old but they were used in the Falklands unpleasantness. What the third weapon is I am uncertain but it is self loading. The last one looks like a German wartime MP43, a real antique! Whilst they are certainly lethal they are all very long in the tooth and almost certainly worn out. What a pathetic lot of terrorists!
Carlos
Guest

Well, check this rifle, held by one of the raid survivors. I dont know the make, it looks new and very lethal.
pic at:
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