The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s guerrilla campaign in Bolivia in 1966 and 1967 achieved global notoriety, and the guerrillas themselves were an international force. Of the 52 participants, 29 were Bolivian, 16 Cuban, 3 Argentine, 3 Peruvian, and 1 French. The movement also pursued grand international objectives: to extend the revolutionary cause around the continent from the strategic center of Bolivia, at the heart of South America.
Guido Alvaro “Inti” Peredo Leigue (1937–69) was the highest-ranking Bolivian and the second in command overall in the guerrilla army. His text “My Campaign with Che” was published after his death, based on drafts that were reworked by the Chilean journalist Elmo Catalán to inspire future revolutionary action. Inti was one of five combatants who managed to escape the Bolivian military’s close siege in the final phase of the campaign in 1967. In 1969, after time abroad, he was in hiding in La Paz writing up his notes and also preparing with other comrades a new urban guerilla struggle when he was discovered and killed by security forces. This passage recounts his first encounters with Che in Ñancahuazú. It reveals the guerrillas’ initial idealism and ambitions, as well as the tensions that existed within the Bolivian Communist Party.