Rodrguez and Villoldo became part of a CIA task force in Bolivia that included the case officer for the operation, "Jim", another Cuban American, Mario Osiris Riveron, and two agents in charge of communications in Santa Clara.
Rodrguez emerged as the most important member of the group; after a lengthy interrogation of one captured guerrilla, he was instrumental in focusing the efforts to the 2nd Ranger Battalion focus on the Villagrande region where he believed Guevara's rebels were operating.
Written by presidential advisor, Walt Rostow, the memo reports that Guevara may be "operational" and not dead as the CIA apparently believed after his disappearance from Cuba.
CIA, Intelligence Information Cable, October 17, 1967 This CIA cable summarizes intelligence, gathered from September 1966 through June 1967, on the disagreement between the Soviet Union and Cuba over Che Guevara's mission to Bolivia.
The guerrillas lose only one man compared to 30 of the Bolivians during these six months.
(James, 250, NYT 9/16/67) APRIL 28, 1967: General Ovando, of the Bolivian Armed Forces, and the U. Army Section signed a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to the 2nd Ranger Battalion of the Bolivian Army "which clearly defines the terms of U.
CIA, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Fidel Castro Delivers Eulogy on Che Guevara, October 19, 1967 On October 18, 1967, the third day of national mourning, Fidel Castro delivered a eulogy to a crowd of almost one million at the Plaza de La Revolución in Havana.(Che's hands were cut off to provide proof that he was actually dead; under the supervision of CIA agent Gustavo Villoldo, his body was then secretly buried by at a desolate airstrip at Villagrande where it was only discovered in June 1997.) The various death documents, notes Ambassador Henderson, leave "unsaid the time of death"--"an attempt to bridge the difference between a series of earlier divergent statements from Armed Forces sources, ranging from assertions that he died during or shortly after battle to those suggesting he survived at least twenty-four hours." Southern Command, Activities of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and Death of Che Guevara The U. Special Forces Group, which trained the Bolivan military units that captured Che Guevara, conducted an extensive debriefing of members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion.This report, based on interviews by a member of the U. Mobile Training Team in Bolivia with key Bolivian commanders, documents the military movements, and engagement with Che Guevara's guerrilla band.The agreement specifies the mission of a sixteen-member Green Beret team of U. special forces, drawn from the 8th Special Forces division of the U. Army Forces at Southcom in Panama, to "produce a rapid reaction force capable of counterinsurgency operations and skilled to the degree that four months of intensive training can be absorbed by the personnel presented by the Bolivian Armed Forces." In October, the 2nd Battalion, aided by U. military and CIA personnel, did engage and capture Che Guevara's small band of rebels.White House Memorandum, May 11, 1967 This short memo to President Lyndon Johnson records U. efforts to track Guevara's movements, and keep the President informed of his whereabouts. This electronic documents book is compiled from declassified records obtained by the National Security Archive, and by authors of two new books on Guevara: Jorge Castañeda's Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara (Knopf), and Henry Butterfield Ryan's The Fall of Che Guevara (Oxford University Press). – On October 9th, 1967, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was put to death by Bolivian soldiers, trained, equipped and guided by U. As part of the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Che Guevara, the National Security Archive's Cuba Documentation Project is posting a selection of key CIA, State Department, and Pentagon documentation relating to Guevara and his death.Although he apparently was under CIA instructions to "do everything possible to keep him alive," Rodrguez transmitted the order to execute Guevara from the Bolivian High Command to the soldiers at La Higueras--he also directed them not to shoot Guevara in the face so that his wounds would appear to be combat-related--and personally informed Che that he would be killed.After the execution, Rodrguez took Che's Rolex watch, often proudly showing it to reporters during the ensuing years.Finally, Bolivia shares a border with five other countries, which would allow the revolution to spread easily if the guerrillas are successful.(Harris, 60, 73; Rojo 193-194; Rodríguez:1, 157; Rodríguez:1, 198) SPRING, 1967: From March to August of 1967, Che Guevara and his guerrilla band strike "pretty much at will" against the Bolivian Armed Forces, which totals about twenty thousand men.