Dwyer travelled with ex-soldier

 

The man who travelled from Ireland to Bolivia with Mike Dwyer, and who is believed to have introduced the Irishman to the main target of last week’s fatal police raid in Santa Cruz, is a former soldier with a long history in private security and body guard work.

According to a copy of his CV, which has been obtained by The Irish Times, he is a former member of the Hungarian army, has worked as a body guard, security guard dog handler, and has trained in close quarter combat, aircraft combat and bomb search and disposal.

He also worked for the Council of Europe and Hungarian Justice Ministry.

The 32-year-old Hungarian of Romanian extraction worked for I-RMS in Ireland, the same security firm that Mike Dwyer worked for last year on Shell’s controversial Corrib gas pipeline landfall site in Co Mayo.

Mr Dwyer travelled with the 32-year-old – along with another Hungarian and a Polish man – from Ireland to Bolivia last November. Mr Dwyer had told his parents in Tipperary he was going there to do a bodyguard course after he and his former colleagues lost their jobs with I-RMS when their contracts expired last October.

The 32-year-old Hungarian who travelled with Mr Dwyer knew Eduardo Rozsa Flores, the 49-year-old shot dead with Mr Dwyer in a Santa Cruz hotel last Thursday week. The Hungarian, who cannot be named at this time, is believed to have introduced Mr Dwyer to Flores.

The Hungarian and the other two men who travelled with Mr Dwyer to Bolivia returned to Ireland early because the bodyguard course they had gone to take part in fell through. Mr Dywer stayed on with Flores and was eventually killed with him.

The Hungarian and Flores have both been linked to the Szekler Legion, which wants autonomy for Hungarians in Romania. The Bolivians have said Flores was the leader of a group of mercenaries in Santa Cruz and that he was planning to kill president Evo Morales.

An unsigned posting on the Szekler Legion website last October called for people to send their CVs to a stated email address if they believed they could assisted an unnamed man – now believed to be Flores – in the protection of his “homeland” Santa Cruz Dela Sierra.

“Anyone who feels that they, are technically, physically prepared to give assistance to send a professional curriculum vitae with useful information and experience to (e-mail address).”

In an interview recorded before he left Hungary for Bolivia last autumn, Flores said unnamed figures had asked him to come back to his birthplace, Santa Cruz, to help stem what he called a surge of violence from pro-government militias against critics of Mr Morales.

While the Hungarian man who knew both Flores and Mr Dwyer is believed to have introduced them in Bolivia there is no suggestion he was involved in any politically motivated armed plot with Flores. He had returned to Ireland last December, four months before the events of last Thursday week.

Given Flores’s last TV interview it does appear the Bolivians had grounds to suspect Flores of politically motivated unlawful activity in their country. However, no evidence has emerged suggesting Mr Dwyer knew what Flores was involved in.

Friends of Mr Dwyer have dismissed suggestions he would be involved in any armed plot in Bolivia saying he was not remotely interested in politics. They have also completely dismissed suggestions the college graduate and former pub bouncer was a mercenary.

The 32-year-Hungarian who links Flores and Mr Dwyer is still living in Ireland. He did not return phone calls from The Irish Times this week.

According to his CV, as well as his background in the Hungarian army and private security in Hungary, he also worked as a journalist, a “troop leader” for the Council of Europe Youth Centre and held an unspecified position in the Hungarian Justice Ministry.

His CV says he speaks English, Romanian and French and lists his hobbies as touring, mountaineering and photography. His CV also indicates that, like Mr Dwyer, he was involved with an airsoft team. Airsoft is a form of mock combat using replica guns.

In February he posted a message on a Hungarian site offering, lawful and formal, training in Hungary to his airsoft team in "high risk executive protection" services.

The posting says such services are “provided, these days, in countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan”. The training included modules on weapons, hand to hand combat and armoured vehicles, sabotage, night vision gear and “the local potential enemy and his favourite (modus operandi)”.

“The base of the course and the instructors are the experts from the Hungarian special forces, Hungarian anti-terrorism forces and French Foreign Legion,” the posting says.