A World War II-era Ustasha propaganda poster, highlighting the connections between the Nazi SS and local tyrant Ante Pavelic.From ABI, an in-depth look at the connections behind the attempt on Evo’s life this past spring:
Quick ‘n’ dirty translation mine.The proceedings are still going on, but the use of the word “Ustasha” is significant; the Ustasha were the Croatian Nazis who wrought havoc in the Balkans during World War II. The fascistic connections between the mercenary-terrorist cell and the land-owning business elites of Santa Cruz may well trace their “spiritual” lineage to this feared, reviled local Nazi/separatist movement.
Seven months and five days after the inauguration of the progressive government of Evo Morales, the Bolivian-Croatian-Hungarian mercenary Eduardo Rózsa wrote a column for El Nuevo Día, owned by the Spanish media group Prisa and already part of the stock portfolio of Branko Marinkovic, according to a journalistic investigation.On August 5 of that year, the Santa Cruz-edited daily, published an article on the political situation in the war-torn Middle East, signed by Rózsa.The article, titled “Mad dogs ravage Lebanon”, was published a day before the installation of the Bolivian constitutent assembly, whose 245 members were elected in July 2006. It is the first evidence that Rózsa, born in Bolivia in 1960 to a Hungarian father and a Bolivian mother but based in Budapest, had turned his eyes to his ancestral country at the moment the Morales government began to implement its agrarian reforms, redistributing cultivable land to disadvantaged peasants and indigenous people.There are no earlier traces of Rózsa in Bolivia, except for one opinion piece signed by his sister, Silvia Rózsa, written for El Nuevo Día of Santa Cruz.The article, attributed to Eduardo Rózsa, reveals the first formal contact with the local operators, who deny that they knew him, and which is now being investigated by a judge in Santa Cruz, Luis Tapia Pachi, along with the “Ustasha Connection”.The “Ustasha Connection”, crucial to the understanding of European conflicts in the last decade of the 20th century, incorporates concepts such as “ethnic and religious cleansing”, and creates humanitarian catastrophes in other parts of the world. It is “the union of fascists with fascists, no matter where they were born, which languages they speak, what color their hair or what religion they profess,” wrote Bolivian intellectual Marcos Domic.The “Ustasha Connection” relates to the civil wars which divided Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It concerns “fascists of whatever type, who attached themselves to post-Yugoslavia Croatia. That is, it has to do with connections before all politics,” says Domic.Rózsa, of whom there is no evidence that he was present in Bolivia between August 5, 2006 and September-October, 2008, entered the country surreptitiously with a group of European mercenaries, veterans of the Yugoslav war, to “gain independence for Santa Cruz”, according to his own words to a Hungarian journalist before returning to Bolivia late last year.“I will enter Bolivia via Brazil and start organizing a militia, based in Santa Cruz,” said Rózsa, in an interview now circulating on the Internet.Rózsa Flores entered Bolivia illegally across the Brazilian border, just as he had told the journalist, Andras Kepes. “If the federal government won’t allow the autonomy of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz will separate from Bolivia,” said the mercenary in Hungarian.On April 16, 2009, Rózsa, who commanded an armed group seeking to spark a civil war in Eastern Bolivia, was killed in an exchange of fire with the local police in a hotel in Santa Cruz.That same day, the police found an arsenal in a storage locker at the Santa Cruz agricultural fairground in the city of Santa Cruz, 900 km east of La Paz. The investigation opened with testimonies by two of the Rózsa cell’s mercenaries who had been captured alive, the Hungarian Elöd Tóásó, and the Bolivian-Hungarian Mario Tadic, as well as a local contact, Ignacio Villa Vargas, “The Old Man”. Local analysts deduced that this group of veterans of the Yugoslav, Croatian and African wars, were contacted in Bolivia by “fascist Croats, connected with the fascist right-wing in Santa Cruz.”The Public Ministry’s investigations point to Branko Marinkovic, who in the second trimester of this year, took over the entire stock of El Nuevo Día.Bolivian magistrate Marcelo Soza, based in La Paz, heads the investigation and after studying hundreds of files collected from the computers confiscated from Rózsa, summoned Marinkovic to explain his actions in financing the armed cell.Marinkovic, accused by the government of financing and supporting armed “civil society” groups which, between August and September 2008, occupied airports, blew up gasoducts, and broke into public offices in the districts of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija, with the objective of toppling President Morales, refused to testify about the Rózsa case before authorities of the national judiciary.Between 2007 and 2009, Marinkovic was president of the politico-business organization, the Comité Pro Santa Cruz, which opposed President Morales.The agricultural businessman, accused also of holding illegal lands, tried to evade justice by availing himself of some resources proposed by judge Tapia Pachi so that the case would go to trial in the jurisdiction of Santa Cruz, instead of La Paz where the process is currently ongoing.Tapia Pachi has gained the unfortunate reputation of having archived the proceedings in Santa Cruz against Marinkovic. The government accuses the judge of bowing to the interests of the powerful agricultural-cattle-ranching businessman. The attempt to change jurisdictions was resolved this week by a tribunal which settled the investigation definitively in La Paz.