New images of Cuban revolutionary, Communist martyr, and cultural icon Che Guevara have surfaced in the small Spanish town of Ricla. According to the Washington Post, the eight black-and-white photographs belong to Imanol Arteaga, who inherited them from his uncle Luis Cuartero, a missionary in Bolivia in the 1960s who died in 2012.
On October 8, 1967, Guevara was captured by Bolivian soldiers, and the following day he was executed. It is well known that before his burial, the revolutionary’s body was laid out by the soldiers and put on display for the townspeople. Agence France-Presse correspondent Marc Hutten was present that day, and his color photographs of the lifeless body were published internationally.
While these new images also show Guevara’s body after the execution, they appear to be taken at a different time—perhaps before the body was washed, cleaned up, and presented to the press and villagers. In one of the newly surfaced images, Guevara appears with matted hair and a jacket crudely buttoned to his chest, unlike the famous color image in which he is shirtless.
Artega believes the pictures may have been taken by Hutten and given to his uncle. “He asked my uncle to take the photos because he was the only European leaving Bolivia at that moment,” he told the AFP.
According to Sylvain Estibal, the head of photography for AFP, the story checks out: “Hutten told us he had sent four or five reels of photos to AFP in Paris. A few months later, Hutten found only a few from the batch had made it. Where the others ended up is still a mystery,” he said.
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