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Che Guevara inspires tourist trail

world Updated: May 28, 2010 00:41 IST
AP
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In life, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara fought to overthrow a corrupt, capitalist elite. In death, he is spawning his own tourism industry — soon to include a three-country 'Che Trail.'

Tourism officials in Argentina, Cuba and Bolivia are collaborating on a historic route that will allow Guevara buffs to retrace the footsteps of the Argentine medical student turned revolutionary in Cuba who was killed in a failed mission to foment an uprising in Bolivia.

Bolivia's vice minister of tourism, Marco Antonio Peredo, said that the international "Caminos del Che" trail will include sites where Guevara was born, fought and died.

Officials say they are being sensitive to Guevara's legacy, long ago co-opted by T-shirt vendors the world over.

"We aren't looking to commodify him — he's not a product that's for sale," said Diego Conca, who coordinates Argentina's portion of the Che trail.

Attractions in Argentina include Guevara's birthplace of Rosario, his family's mate tea plantation in Misiones and other places where Guevara rode by motorcycle on his path to becoming a leftist revolutionary.

Guevara went to Cuba in 1956 to fight alongside the Castro brothers, and later led a small band of guerrillas in Bolivia, where he was captured and killed in 1967.