The former Bolivian soldier Mario Terán, the shooter of the Argentine guerrilla Ernesto “Che” Guevara, died at the age of 80 in a military hospital in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the newspaper “El Deber” reported this Thursday, citing one of the nearby Pastor to the family.
“He was a brave man,” said retired General Gary Prado Salmón, who led the military operation against Guevara’s rebel group at the time. “He voluntarily complied with an order that came from the president.”
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Terán shot Guevara to death on October 9, 1967, at a school in the town of La Higuera in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, after the guerrilla leader had been wounded and captured in a clash with Bolivian forces the day before.
“It was the worst moment of my life. At that moment I saw Che tall, very tall, huge, and his eyes shone a lot,” Terán said in an interview shortly after. “Calm down, he told me, and aim well, you’re going to kill a man. So I took a step back toward the door, closed my eyes, and fired.”
Along with Fidel Castro, the Argentine Guevara was one of the most important leaders of the revolution in Cuba. After the victory of the revolutionaries, he was Minister of Industry and director of the National Bank of Cuba. After conflicts with Castro over the future political direction, Guevara tried to take the revolution to the world and established rebel groups in the Congo, Angola and Bolivia. (dop)