Revolutionary Plot In Bolivia Uncovered
Prosecutors in Bolivia have charged 39 people in a revolutionary plot to kill Socialist president Evo Morales and declare independence for breakaway province Santa Cruz.
The BBC reports that the most prominent officials in the plot include business leader Branco Marinkovic, who is former head of the opposition Civic Committee of Santa Cruz and currently in exile in the US, and the retired General Gary Prado, who led the unit that captured and killed the Argentine-born guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Prosecutors say they have e-mail evidence linking the accused to three European mercenaries killed by police during an April 16, 2009 raid in Santa Cruz that were suspected of being behind a previous dynamite attack on the home of Roman Catholic Cardinal Julio Terrazas, reports the BBC.
The three men in the group were Irishman Michael Dwyer, Romanian Arpad Magyarosi, and ringleader Eduardo Rosa Flores, 49, a Bolivian-Hungarian who lead a paramilitary group during the war for Croatian independence of the 1990s.
Two others, Mario Francisco Tasik Astorga, 58, another veteran of the Croatian war, and Elot Toaso, a Hungarian computer expert, were also arrested.
17 of the accused are living outside of Bolivia, and all of them say the charges are politically motivated.
Marinkovic denied any ties to the group. “I am persecuted by the Bolivian government and forced to live outside my beloved Bolivia because in my country my life is in danger. There are no guarantees I would get a fair trial,” he said from America.
General Prado scoffed at charges of his involvement with the revolutionary plot. “It seems laughable that a general with my career history would put himself under the orders of a mercenary,” he said.