MEXICO'S CENTENNIALS: Exile and Murder in Mexico


Hoover Institution research fellow Bertrand M. Patenaude describes Leon Trotsky’s last days in Mexico.

There are two myths that die-hard about Trotsky’s last years in Mexico. The first has to do with Trotsky’s affair with Frida Kahlo, which many people have heard about. If they haven’t read about it, they’ve seen the 2002 movie “Frida,” with Salma Hayek in the title role. The affair did in fact take place. The myth that dies hard about this affair is that Frida’s husband, Diego Rivera, found out about it and that this led him to break off his friendship with Trotsky. The second myth has to do with the murder weapon that was used to assassinate Trotsky in his villa in Coyoacán, which is commonly believed to have been an ice pick. But let’s start with Diego.

Bertrand M. Patenuade
Publication date: 
January 12, 2010
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article