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Security and the Fourth International

On August 20, 1940, Leon Trotsky was assassinated by an agent of the Soviet secret police, the GPU, in Coyoacán, a suburb of Mexico City, where he was living in exile. Thus ended the life of the great Marxist theoretician of world socialist revolution and one of the towering figures of modern political history.

Trotsky’s assassination ranks among the most politically consequential crimes of the 20th century, with far-reaching implications for the international working class and the world socialist movement. And yet, for decades, the circumstances surrounding the assassination remained shrouded in secrecy. The massive scale of the Stalinist conspiracy against Trotsky was the subject of a carefully orchestrated cover-up.

In 1975, the International Committee of the Fourth International launched the first systematic investigation by the Trotskyist movement into the assassination. This investigation, known as Security and the Fourth International, led to the exposure of the network of GPU agents within the Fourth International that ensured the success of Stalin’s conspiracy against Trotsky’s life. The investigation was bitterly opposed by Pabloite and pseudo-left organizations, which denounced the exposure of spies placed inside the Trotskyist movement as “agent-baiting.” This has remained their position, despite the fact that state intelligence documents released following the dissolution of the Soviet Union confirmed the findings of the International Committee and vindicated Security and the Fourth International.

Mexican police hold the pickaxe that Stalinist agent Ramon Mercader used to murder Trotsky on August 20, 1940
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The assassination of Tom Henehan

Tom Henehan, a member of the political committee of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party), was murdered by hired gunmen while supervising a party event in Brooklyn, New York, on the night of October 15, 1977. He was the victim of a political assassination.

His death followed warnings by Joseph Hansen, the leader of the Socialist Workers Party who was exposed by Security and the Fourth International as an agent of both the GPU and the FBI, that there would be “deadly consequences” for the Workers League if it did not cease its investigations.

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