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Italian Activist, Who Spent 4 Decades On Run, Captured In Bolivia

Convicted as a murderer for bloodshed in the 1970s, former leftwing Italian activist Cesare Battisti, who was caught in Bolivia, has spent almost four decades on the run, detailing his experiences in a string of acclaimed thrillers.

His capture at the weekend was the latest twist in a near 40-year legal and diplomatic saga worthy of the kind of autobiographical novel the 64-year-old made his speciality.

Convicted in absentia to life behind bars by an Italian court, he has spent years on the road, travelling from Mexico to France and Brazil, despite regular threats of extradition.

Battisti was convicted by an Italian court in 1993 and sentenced to life for involvement in four murders in the 1970s when he was a leftwing activist.

Although he admits being part of an armed revolutionary group, he has always denied responsibility for any deaths.

But Rome remains determined to punish one of the last figures from Italy’s so-called Years of Lead, a decade of violent turmoil which began in the late 1960s and saw dozens of deadly attacks by hardline leftwing and rightwing groups.

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