Florid History

I’d like to step back somewhat from the slightly excited tone of the previous post about the death of Michael Dwyer in Bolivia, and consider the company he was keeping. There seems to be an assumption operating in the Irish media, based on his age, lack of criminal convictions, and most important, the fact of being Irish, that Michael Dwyer was an innocent abroad caught up in something far more dangerous than he could comprehend. That assumption may be justified.

If he took up work with the shadowy quixotic figure of Eduardo Rozsa Flores, it seems reasonable to speculate that he may not have been fully aware of Rozsa Flores’s commitments or connections. Nor might he have been aware of the extreme racist white supremacist nature of the regional government of Santa Cruz, in whose interests Rozsa Flores appeared to have been operating at the time of his death.

Reading an interview with Rozsa Flores published on his website, the following details emerge:

1. He grew up with the image of Che abandoned to his fate on the one hand, and that of the party despots on the other. For him, Che was one more victim of Stalinism. And as a soldier, exemplary.
2. He was a member of Opus Dei.
3. He began to convert to Islam in a Sarajevo mosque in 1995.
4. He was an admirer of Carlos The Jackal, and the feeling was mutual.

How someone ends up staying in a hotel with an individual like that, I cannot conceive.

5 Responses to “Florid History”

  1. 1 copernicus April 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Can you not?

    That’s really interesting and useful.

    It’s always interesting that media reports suddenly become reliable when one adopts the view that a particular narrative ought to be true.

    You might find out what happened last week. In a book. In five years time.

  2. 2 Hugh Green April 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    It’s always interesting that media reports suddenly become reliable when one adopts the view that a particular narrative ought to be true.

    Tell me about it. I mean, you had various sources quoting Ruben Costas, the governor of Santa Cruz, in an ‘on the other hand’ counterpoint. Like here:

    However, the Governor of Santa Cruz Ruben Costas, an opponent of Mr Morales, told reporters that local police were not involved in the arrests and suggested the alleged assassination plot was staged to discredit his administration. Mr Costas is one of four governors who have sought autonomy for their provinces.

    Sr. Costa’s history of referring to Morales as a ‘macaco’ is not considered germane.

  3. 3 JG April 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    With you on this. Both the Sunday Tribune and RTE have been awful, presuming he is completely innocent. Dick Roche was on RTE protesting that the speculation in the media was adding to the family’s pain.

    While that is probably true (and my heart goes out to them) the media have a job to do, which they are absolutely failing in. Seeing a Minister for State telling the media to shut up on this issue, given how dodgy it looks, is just appalling.

    The Tribune said he was in Bolivia working in ‘private security’. As you say, it’s hard to fathom how he ended up rooming with the people he was rooming with.

    Looks dodgy as hell to me and if he was planning on killing Morales he got what he deserved as far as I’m concerned.

  4. 4 EWI April 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    It’s always interesting that media reports suddenly become reliable when one adopts the view that a particular narrative ought to be true.

    I posted this over at CLR, and stand by it:

    “The use of agents provocateurs by right-wing elites in South and Central America being nothing new (ask Chavez). I believe that what has happened here has close parallels to the ‘Colombia Three’ business – one faction has ensnared foreigners employed for less-than-legitimate purposes by their opposition, and are using these deeply embarressing circumstances to score domestic and international political advantage.

    My sympathies to his family, but he would appear (on the basis of reports so far) to have been an unwise individual who was mixed up with very shady characters, who were themselves apparently up to illegal activities in a dangerous part of the world. Talk of his being “assassinated” – per the Sindo-ised Tribune today – are OTT, at least on the basis of reports so far. Bodies of slain armed opponents are routinely stripped by anyone who knows what they’re about, for various good reasons; so the bodies being shown after in underclothes proves nothing.”

  5. 5 Hugh Green April 21, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I’m reluctant to comment too much about the individual in question since I know from past experience that family members can read comments. I think, however, EWI, that your analysis of the right-wing agents provocateurs is bang-on. One thing that has been lost in this is the bomb left at the residence of Cardinal Julio Terrazas: the Bolivian government is claiming that these men were involved in this. Well, after the bomb went off, you had right-wing politicians claiming that the government was responsible. It seems fairly clear from this distance that the bomb was the work of provocateurs.

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April 2009

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