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New Revelations in Bolivian Terror Case

January 27, 2011

Nearly two years later, a new video and WikiLeaks cable are again calling into question the circumstances around the death of Eduardo Rózsa. The Bolivian citizen of Hungarian and Croatian descent, along with four others, was killed during an April 2009 raid by Bolivian counterterrorist forces in Santa Cruz for their alleged involvement in a terrorist group intent on assassinating President Evo Morales.

Now, a private, La Paz-based television channel has broadcast a video showing Bolivian police officers allegedly bribing the prosecution’s key witness, Ignacio Villa Vargas. According to the video, in exchange for cash, Villa Vargas accused political and business leaders from Santa Cruz of meeting Rózsa to conspire against Morales. In response, many Santa Cruz leaders were either arrested or fled the country to Brazil, Paraguay or the United States.

But the raid against Rózsa and the others had been plagued with other flaws. For one, as mandated by Bolivian law, the police did not possess a search warrant or initiate the raid accompanied by a public prosecutor. This meant that any information found could not be used as evidence. Further, since the group was supposedly infiltrated by counterterrorism officers, it is questionable how they could have detonated a bomb in the house of Cardinal Julio Terrazas the evening before the raid without prior police knowledge...

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Pablo Ortiz is a journalist for the Bolivian daily El Deber. Liliana Colanzi is an AQ blogger and journalist.