May 9, 2023, 8:34 AM
May 9, 2023, 8:34 AM
He was escorted on his last voyage by generals and admirals of the passive service. General Gary Prado Salmón received tributes from his comrades in arms, his family, the Santa Cruz Governor’s Office and dozens of citizens who said goodbye with white handkerchiefs. The National Hero already rests in peace with the feeling of “duty accomplished.”
That was the “greatest legacy” that the family and their former comrades highlighted during the funeral. Of course, no active military member of the Army arrived to comply with the rigor of the “honors of law.” This omission can lead to charges for breach of formal duties, as explained yesterday by the lawyer and ex-military officer Omar Durán. “There is no exception or argument used by the Military High Command to say, ‘We didn’t do it for this reason. They fall into breach of duty,” said the jurist after recalling the high services that Prado provided to the country during his military career.
Prado Salmón received in 1967 the decoration of Congress as a National Hero for having captured the Argentine-Cuban Ernesto Che Guevara, in the context of a fight against the guerrillas that he led in the country. General Prado said on several occasions, regarding Che, that he did “better things for the country.” In fact, he was remembered from the political and academic world, scenarios through which he traveled throughout his life. FHe was part of the institutionalist military that came to oppose the coup promoted by Hugo Banzer.
The Army’s refusal to pay him official honors occurred at a time when Che’s image is valued by the ruling Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS). Legislators and leaders linked to the ruling party carry the image of Che Guevara on their attire. The party associates him with the socialist ideal of the 1960s. The Arce government ratified its political alliance with Cuba in March in the context of an official visit to the island.
Jorge Santistevan, a lawyer and passive service colonel, recalled that Prado Salmón suffered attacks by the MAS government, which called him “a destabilizing person” and associated him with the Terrorism case. Santistevan affirmed that “even after his death, Prado has been the victim of abuses by his own military comrades.” of the active service that are linked to the party in government function.
“Those people do not decide anything. the military High Command does not decide or move a single soldier as long as it does not have a political order. This is disrespectful to a national hero declared not only by the State, but by all of society”Santistevan pointed out to EL DEBER.
“Article 88 of the Ceremonial Regulations and Military Protocol establishes that a national hero and meritorious of the country, as was General Prado, must be escorted by a guard and funeral honors include 21 Salutes, every five seconds. That hasn’t happened. The Army is silent. Nowadays, the villains are recognized and the forgotten heroes”, added Durán. He specified that these honors do not come only when the family requests it. “This was not the case and the omission may lead to criminal action,” he remarked.
The body of General Prado was veiled on Sunday in a hall of the Missions and yesterday it was transferred to the Government House where a funeral chapel was installed. From there, he was taken to the Cathedral where the mass of the present body was officiated. “It is the mission of every commander to accompany his soldiers and not abandon them”said passive service colonel Marco Rojas, very dismayed.
As a captain, Prado captured Che and delivered him alive. This event marked him because he was even the object of hate speech by the guerrilla’s followers. The soldier, who acted in the context of a military combat, said that Cuba promoted a myth with his image.