The death of the officer who executed Guevara: "It was the worst moment of my life.. He told me to stay calm, and shoot well."

The day before yesterday, the 80-year-old Bolivian officer Mario Teran Salazar, who confirmed that he had killed the Argentine-Cuban commander Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1967, in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in eastern Bolivia, died yesterday, according to what “Euronews” quoted a person close to him.

"He died. He was sick and nothing could be done," Gary Prado, the officer who caught Che in the Bolivian bush 54 years ago, told AFP.

On Thursday morning, Prado learned of the death of Salazar, who was his student at the Officers College, and said: "I have been notified of the matter by his family and comrades in the armed forces because he was in a military hospital."

The hospital refused to confirm the cause of death, in accordance with the principle of "medical privacy".

On October 8, 1967, the Bolivian army arrested Guevara, a symbol of armed revolutionary action during the Cold War, with the support of two Cuban-American agents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Che commanded a number of fighters who withstood the battles, hunger and disease in the Bolivian mountains.

After being wounded in the fighting, he was taken to an abandoned school in the village of La Higuera.

It was in this village that Che Guevara spent his last night before he was killed the next day by Teran Salazar in an operation approved by President René Barrientos (1964-1969), who was known for his fierce opposition to communism.

"That was the worst moment of my life. Che looked big and gigantic. His eyes were shining so bright," Teran Salazar recounted. "He told me to keep calm, aim well, you're going to kill a man. Then I retreated back toward the door and closed," he said. I rolled my eyes and fired."

At the age of 39, "Che" Guevara had become an icon with a large aura, his body displayed as war booty in the neighboring city of Vallegrande, immortalized by AFP photographer Mark Hutten.

After three decades of service, Teran Salazar retired and kept a low profile, avoiding contact with the press.

He even used to say at one point that it was not him who killed Guevara, but another soldier with the same name and fame.

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