Main LA Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Labor Action, 16 June 1947


GPU Makes “Jail” Life Easy
for Murderer of Leon Trotsky

(1 June 1947)


From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 26, 30 June 1947, p. 3.
Translated from Lucha obrera, Mexico City, 1 June 1947.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


On the occasion of the maneuvers of Doctor Chapa, the newspapers published hundreds of reports disclosing the privileges which the GPU underling, Jacques Mornard (the man who murdered Trotsky), enjoyed in the penitentiary. They report something which is not precisely a secret: that thanks to the power and money of the GPU, the assassin of Trotsky has been for a long time the strong man of the penitentiary, at times more powerful than the Penal Director himself.

Mornard did not have a cell (the entire penitentiary, and even the city on some nights, have been his field of operations), he ate from the best restaurants, has suits, “teachers” of languages, friends and protectors (among whom the Doctor Chapa and the Penal Secretary were the least significant), facilities to circulate freely in prison and even outside of it, private feasts and even bacchanals, conjugal visits with every sort of person, freedom to interview anyone who wanted to see him and at whatever hour he wished, the visitors’ list well filled and even a title of professor of alphabetization (orthography) and a post, Assistant of the Deputy of the Department of Social Prevention of the Secretary of Government (the Dr. Chapa, surely!); furthermore, a retinue of assassins no less “assistants” of the doctor and a virtual army of agents from whom he received fidelity and reverence.

Accordingly the press reports that never before was there a. prisoner in the Penitentiary of the Federal District who enjoyed major privileges and who made a show of so much money and political influence. Therefore it is understood that the Penitentiary of D.F. has been for the Stalinist assassin merely a place of refuge to protect his precious existence. It is natural that all these privileges would end by inciting the hatred of the majority of the inmates which, spontaneously or not, burst forth in recent days. But nothing in this story was a secret. Why, then, in apparent surprise, do the newspapers now discover the news of the privileges for Trotsky’s assassin?

The Doctor Esther Chapa is without doubt a miserable servant of the GPU; but we cannot concede great importance to the Stalinist family. The Secretary of the Penitentiary himself, Jose Faraji, of whom it was said that he is the medium through whom Mornard receives the orders of Stalin, is in reality nothing but a simple instrument which is left visible in order to conceal forces a thousand times more powerful. A complete investigation of the preparation and realization of the assassination of Trotsky and of the protection of the assassin will uncover a monstrous mechanism in which the high functionaries of the government, of today and yesterday, will reveal its repugnant face entirely.

The press scandal around Mornard fits in with the plans of Yankee propaganda against Russia. In this sense, we Trotskyists are the first to be prepared against the confusion.

Why the Press Campaign

Neither the government nor the capitalist press are ignorant of the princely life of the agent of Stalin. If now they write pages disclosing these privileges it is simply to utilize the repugnant assassin in the campaign against Moscow. But the bourgeois press identifies the crimes of Stalin with communism, because it tries to deprecate not the traitorous bureaucracy of the Kremlin, but the revolutionary ideas of the international proletariat.

We are not ignorant of the fact that the assassin Mornard can be converted into a valuable hostage in the hands of the Yankee police. And tn virtue of this, the effort of Stalin to secure the flight or the assassination of his agent is not diminishing. But we can affirm that if Stalin had wanted to assassinate Mornard or to lead him, on to the road of flight, he would have been able to do it with the greatest impunity. The functionaries of the government themselves, who have filled the days of the assassin with ease and pleasure, are able to free him or to assassinate him. For this reason, we do not believe that the doctor and such as Farah had of necessity to furnish a scandal. The coffers of Moscow are not exhausted and the Mexican functionaries are not too dear.

It is not necessary to forget that in the government of Aleman there are installed in the high places not a few Stalinists: we cite, for example, Perez Martinez, the Minister of Government; Mario Souza, the Chief of the Agrarian Department; German Parra, the Subsecretary of the National Economy, and even the confidential Alejandro Carrillo, Secretary of the Central Department. As one sees, Stalin does not exactly lack agents on high.

If indeed North American imperialism challenges Stalin with Mornard, it is not discounted that Stalin will leave Mornard on top of the table as a proof that his aggressive plans against Wall Street are not so dangerous nor so decisive nor so short term. But, in any case, the role of Mornard is important and the working class has the obligation to take a position in this respect.

We do not take seriously any of the affirmations of the mercenary press which is sprinkling incense in the “moralizing” labor of the new Procurator. In bourgeois justice, the “moralization” has a price – maximum in the case of Mornard. The revolutionary workers know that the only justice which can be effective against the assassin of Trotsky is the justice of the working class. Late or early, Jacques Mornard will have to appear before the revolutionary tribunal, as will the Cain of the Kremlin if he does not have the good fortune to die in time. The Mexican Stalinist participants in the crime will not be an exception. The grim Siqueiros and his gangsters can still walk freely through the streets, but in the end, they will not escape.

Top of page

Main LA Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 22 October 2022