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The Militant, 13 December 1941

Walter Rourke

GPU Plans Killing Jacson
Then Blaming N. Trotsky

With Date for Sentence of Trotsky’s Assassin Approaching,
Stalin’s Agents Are Desperate to Put Him Where He Can’t Talk

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 50, 13 December 1941, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


MEXICO, Dec. 1. – As the time for the sentence of “Jacson”, Trotsky’s assassin, draws near, the G.P.U. is increasing its activities to liquidate his case in one way or another. Today, Natalia Trotsky published in the Mexican press two letters received by her secretary that appeared to be a provocation of the G.P.U. – a plan to kill Jacson and place the blame on the Trotsky household. Comrade Natalia believed that only by publishing the facts could the possible use of these letters against her and her friends be definitely eliminated.

The fact that Jacson is still in jail more than a year after his crime does not at all indicate that his G.P.U. friends have been inactive. But their first move was to try legal means – to hire a clever lawyer who tried to find or invent irregularities in the trial. However this attempt has met with complete failure. The judge, Rivera Vasquez, and the Prosecuting Attorney, Elenes Espinosa, are very capable and honest men. Jacson’s defense recently appealed for a reopening of the case which the judge had closed in compliance with the constitutional provisions; this appeal was denied. All that now remains in the case is a presentation of conclusions by the prosecution and defense and then the pronouncement of sentence by the judge.

How Siqueiros Got Away

Thus the G.P.U. is faced with the necessity of settling the case by illegal means; no doubt it wants to do this before the sentence so, as to avoid having its agent condemned by Mexican justice. This was achieved in the case of Alfaro Siqueiros, leader of the May 24th attack on Trotsky. He was released on bail and fled from the country. His case remains “open.” Two illegal possibilities are available. One to buy Jacson’s escape; or, if by any chance this proves impossible the other possibility is to do away with Jacson in his cell in order to once and for all finish with the constant danger he represents because of what he knows.

It has been known that the G.P.U. on the outside and Jacson on the inside of the prison have been making preparations for his escape. For instance a report that proceeded from a prisoner in the same penitentiary described the celebration held in Jacson’s cell during the night – music, liquor, women, with officials of the prison participating; also Jacson was permitted to take walks around the prison during the night when supposedly all prisoners were confined to their cells. Upon receipt of these reports, Natalia Trotsky turned them over to the District Attorney for the proper investigation.

On November 18th a letter was sent to the “secretary of L. Trotsky” by a man who claimed to be a member of the guard in the prison where Jacson is held. He asked for an interview with the secretary in order to deal with “certain details” that he had observed. The secretary visited the author of the letter who recounted some of the details about Jacson’s life, visits by a captain of the guard in the company of his wife and child, how clear it was that an escape was being planned, etc. Then this policeman offered to kill Jacson for a sum, explaining that it would be easy and that he could say that Jacson was trying to escape.

Naturally the secretary refused categorically to discuss any illegal actions and much less a murder. He asked the policeman to make a formal statement on his observations before a judge or a statement that could be presented to the President of Mexico. The officer refused to do this. The discussion closed with the secretary’s telling the guard that he was only interested in information oh Jacson’s visitors, his life and things that appeared like preparations to escape.

Exactly one week later, another letter was received at the Trotsky house from the same person. He gave many relatively unimportant details of Jacson’s daily life and repeated the story of visits of a “Captain Coca” and then discussed the price for killing Jacson. He asked 50,000 pesos – 25,000 in advance. This second letter was extremely suspicious: either the policeman was an idiot to write about such a proposition. especially after having been turned down energetically, or this constituted an attempt at a provocation by the G.P.U. against Natalia Trotsky. In the light of the latter possibility, Comrade Natalia delivered the two letters to President Camacho. With his permission, photographic copies of these letters were delivered to the press of Mexico City on December 4th.

Statement of Natalia Trotsky

In her letter to the press Comrade Natalia said:

“His refusal (of the policeman to make a formal statement) and his insistence on writing a letter barefacedly making the same proposition (to kill Jacson for a price), make me believe in the possibility of a provocation by the G.P.U. against me and my friends. The G.P.U. will try, perhaps, to kill its agent. Jacson, and blame the Trotskyists ... The public should know from now on that the future liberators and possible assassins of Jacson are his colleagues in the G.P.U. We do not lend ourselves to provocations and our only interest is that the murderer be judged by the Mexican tribunals and that he remains alive in jail.”

Thus, it looks as though the latest attempt to terminate the Jacson case has met with failure. For in spite of whatever excuses the director of the prison may give for the scandalous relations that existed between Jacson and his jailers, one thing is certain: the resulting publicity and heightened public interest in the case as well as the official measures taken must make more difficult the task of organizing either the escape or killing of Jacson. The G.P.U. has to and no doubt will begin to reorganize its plans – this time more carefully. In the meantime the date of the court decision and sentence draws nearer.

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