Gary Prado Salm贸n, the Bolivian soldier who captured Che Guevara, dies

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Gary Prado Salm贸n, the soldier who captured the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara in October 1967, died this Saturday in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz due to health complications at the age of 84.

"The Lord has just called my father Gral Div SP Gary Augusto Prado Salm贸n to his kingdom. He left with his wife and children. He leaves us a legacy of love, honesty and courage. He was an extraordinary person," his son Gary reported. Prado Ara煤z on social networks.

He also thanked all the people who supported his family "in this time of his agony" and ended his message with "God bless you."

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara during an interview on CBS


Prado Ara煤z pointed out that months ago his father had "a recurring infection, due to his disability, which was complicated by pneumonia and later with kidney failure," but stressed that "he fought until the end," reports Efe.

The figure of General Gary Prado Salm贸n transcended when on October 8, 1967 he commanded a patrol that crossed the Churro ravine in southwestern Bolivia and captured Guevara who was wounded, to later hand him over to his superiors.

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A day later, the Bolivian Army complied with the instruction to execute Che.

In 1981, the soldier's life was marked again when an accidental shot from one of his comrades hit his spine, which caused him to use a wheelchair to get around ever since.

"For him, the capture of Che was not the most important thing he did in his life. For him, the most important thing was to help make the Armed Forces a democratic institution, respectful of the Constitution and the laws," his son said.

General Prado was a university professor, ambassador and advisor to former Bolivian President Jaime Paz Zamora (1989-1993), among other functions he performed.

Prado Ara煤z stressed that his father "knew jail, exile (and) hiding fighting for his democratic principles", he even faced what he considers was a "shameful trial" when he had to serve 11 years in house arrest for a terrorism charge during the Government of Evo Morales (2006-2019).

That was called the "terrorism" case that broke out on April 16, 2009, when a police commando carried out an operation in a hotel in Santa Cruz that resulted in three foreigners being killed and two arrested, accused of being part of a terrorist cell that supposedly he wanted the secession of the Santa Cruz region and attack Morales.

unfinished memoir book

Prado Ara煤z recounted that his father "left an unfinished memoir" that lacks "the last chapter" that was supposed to relate what he considered to be an "unfair trial" that closed in 2020 with the acquittal of 12 defendants.

In recent times, the retired soldier dedicated himself mainly to writing and transmitting his ideas in works such as "La Guerrilla Immolada", where he maintains the thesis that the Communist Party of Cuba "sent to death" Che Guevara in Bolivia because he no longer tolerated.

Gary Prado Salm贸n "was a general of extraordinary temper, nothing broke him, nobody twisted him," concluded his son.

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