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Cubans recall discovery of Che’s remains

Havana, Jun 28 (Prensa Latina) Cubans recall on Friday the 27th anniversary of the discovery of the remains of Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara. This event was considered a milestone for Cuban science and a symbol of victory.

On June 28, 1997, the bodies of Che and those of six other companions were found on an airport runway in Vallegrande, Bolivia, where he had been assassinated by members of the Bolivian military troops 30 years earlier.

The search was activated in November 1995 after public testimony of Mario Vargas Salinas, a former high-ranking officer in the Bolivian armed forces who confessed to know the location of Che’s remains.

MSC Jorge Gonzalez, then director of the Institute for Legal Medicine in Havana, was appointed by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, to lead the scientific search, which had to be carried out under multiple pressures due to its symbolism.

One day after the Bolivian Government gave 48 hours to the Cuban expedition to finish the works, the discovery was made.

Until then and for decades, Cuban researchers and those from other nations gathered information that eased the work of geologists, forensic anthropologists, biologists, geophysicists, and other social scientist from 15 institutions.

Under custody, the remains were studied on Bolivian soil and subjected to numerous identification tests. On July 12, 1997, they were moved to Havana, where they were received with honors and respect.

A whole generation of Cubans was marked by the images of the arrival of the coffins at the military airport in San Antonio de los Baños and their subsequent transfer to the Mausoleum in Santa Clara, in central Cuba, where Che fought one of the most significant battles of Cuba’s liberation war.