Che dead but still around... somewhere

March 31st, 2007  

Topic: Che dead but still around... somewhere

MIAMI - A former CIA operative and Cuban exile in Miami is the latest to call the 1997 reburial of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara a fraud, claiming that the body of one of Fidel Castro's closest friends is still in Bolivia.

Gustavo Villoldo, 71, said he has strands of faded hair that he snipped before burying Guevara's body under a Bolivian airstrip in 1967. He believes the remains are likely still there, not in the official grave site in a Cuban mausoleum. DNA tests could confirm his theory, he told The Miami Herald.

But Villoldo would also need Guevara's relatives to come forward to confirm a DNA match, an unlikely possibility as most of his children are supportive of the Cuban government.

Villoldo was involved in Guevara's capture in October 1967 in the jungles of Bolivia, according to unclassified U.S. records and other documents. He told the Herald that he wrote down the burial coordinates and hopes one day to give them to Guevara's family.

Since the Cuban government announced in 1995 that its anthropologists had uncovered Guevara's remains from the Bolivian airstrip, some experts have raised doubts about the discovery. They question whether it was a public-relations stunt to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Guevara's death.

No DNA testing was done on the remains before they were reburied. Cuban officials relied on information from retired Bolivian generals, whom Villoldo maintains were not even there the night he sneaked Guevara's body out of an improvised morgue and buried it.

Still, Alejandro Inchaurregui, one of two forensic anthropologists who discovered the bones in 1995, maintains the reburied remains do belong to Guevara.

"I don't have the slightest doubt that the skeleton we found was that of Che," he told the Herald.
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March 31st, 2007  


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