Journalist Xavier Montanyá traces the career of a spy allegedly planted in anarchist and GRAPO (Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista Primero de Octubre) circles in France under the Franco dictatorship and allegedly a cohort of the GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación) under a democratic regime
A few comments on the Guerrero case by Antonio Martín
Speaking for myself the most interesting part of Guerrero’s career is from 1960 to 1964. Although maybe the one explains the other, I don’t know! Afterwards is another story, which interests me as much it does anybody else with an interest in Spanish politics, post Franco’s death.
Since I reckon I’ve read everything ever written relating to our affairs, I read Guerrero’s books (De esto y de aquello and Ustedes no dicen nada). In De esto y de aquello Guerrero has hardly anything to say other than to parade his own ego, his megalomania and his prolific lying. It seems this character only ever rubs shoulders with ministers, lawyers etc. Celebrities. The odd thing is that his friends are drawn mainly from among right-wingers like Pascua and Pandreau. Whereas his relations with French ministers like Joxe (at the Interior ministry) or Quillas (at the ministry of War) back in Mitterand’s day were strained. It looks as though these ministers did not have such a high regard for El Peque. At the Madrid meeting I told El Peque that I found his friendship with Pasqua and Pandreau odd given that these are right-wing politicians who hobnob with the far right and with criminal types. Both come with lots of baggage, heavy baggage.
Looking into the possibilities of bringing the Delgado-Granado affair before the Court of Human Rights I had occasion to discuss the matter with some well-known lawyers and, through them, with a socialist politician who held high office back in Mitterrand’s time. I asked him what he thought of Guerrero and he told me that he was an acquaintance and that he was dangerous, due to his compulsive lying, his ego and his off behaviour. But this was well after 1964; it was in the 1980s.
As I wrote in my comments about the Madrid meeting, I found it strange that Guerrero, as a CNT member who worked hand-in-glove with Montseny until 1969, should — after Álvarez del Vayo returned from China — have dedicated his book, ‘De esto y de aquello’, to him. In your text you refer to GRAPO: well, if Álvarez del Vayo wasn’t that organisation’s founder he was very close to it.
Personally, I refused to comment on what was published about Guerrero in El Mundo or El Alcazar, because they are far rightwing publications and, had Guerrero raised them, I’d have ignored it. Just as I ignored Dufourg’s book in which the author writes that Guerrero acted as an intermediary between the French police and the GAL. This was because Dufourg was tried for the murder of the gay Protestant pastor Doucet, and is an extreme right-winger to boot.
The Guerrero affair is further complicated by the fact that one only has to spend some time reading him to appreciate the extent to which he lies:
– he is lying when, in the documentary ‘Granado-Delgado, un crimen legal’, he claims that he knew nothing about anything.
– he is lying when, in another of his books ‘Y ustedes no dicen nada’ he offers a ridiculous version of his role in the Granado-Delgado affair. It is a shame that Gambia was unable to attend the Madrid meeting. Had he taken part he’d have given Guerrero’s lies short shrift. This guy plays people for idiots. His version of events is utterly false. Anybody with an interest in the matter, and who has read or listened to what Alberola, Edo and Ariño said, and who has compared this with the police interrogation knows that Guerrero is lying. But why is he lying? That is a mystery to me; all he needed to say was that Ariño missed Granado and that would have been the end of the problem for Guerrero, in this connection at any rate.
There are other oddities. Sending Paquita to Madrid for instance. At the meeting, after he was pressed on the point he acknowledged that he sent her. Here there are two problems, which I at any rate find inexplicable:
1. It is hard to credit that Guerrero acted alone in sending Paquita to Madrid? Paquita worked in London at the time and was holidaying in Paris with her parents. How did Guerrero make Paquita’s acquaintance — and when? And if Guerrero did make contact with Paquita he must have got her address from somebody. Who was that somebody or somebodies?
2. The Madrid comrades said the CNT knew that upwards of ten comrades had been rounded up. So how come she was dispatched with a secret message a fortnight after the first of the arrests took place? What were the contents of that secret message, who wrote it and to what purpose?
3. I have been told that another female comrade was approached prior to Paquita, but was unable to make the trip. I know her identity but forgive me if I do not name her. It is for her to come forward herself.
4. Paquita was arrested as a result of thoughtlessness. I cannot fathom why, in such a risky business, meetings are arranged for homes and workplaces as these places are obviously open to police surveillance. And that is what happened: Asenjo had been arrested and the police were ensconced in the fruit shop. In which Guerrero — or his intermediary in Madrid — made a grave mistake. At our meeting words were exchanged between Asenjo and that intermediary, which was Viedma.
1. Why has it been set down in writing that Guerrero was married to the daughter of a sub-prefect when he is married to the daughter of a CNT member?
2. How come so many comrades knew or had doubts about Guerrero, yet failed to try to find out which foot he kicked with? That would have ended the rumours, accusations and so on. And if he had been a police informer from 1960 or 1964, he might have been eliminated once and for all. And then there’s the Guerrero-GAL affair. If Guerrero really had been a go-between between the French police and the GAL, surely ETA would have bumped him off. If I was given Guerrero’s address then it is a certainty that ETA had or has knowledge of his address.
4. Some people claim to have ‘discovered’ that Guerrero was the son of a Civil Guard. Well, that is nothing new; it was common knowledge among all the Madrid comrades, as they stated at the meeting.
5. The business of the stolen briefcase. The Madrid comrades stated that everyone with whom Guerrero had been in touch with was arrested, whereas those who were members of the same group but who had had no contact with him were untouched.
6. When Ruano came to Paris to see how his trial might be reviewed, I asked him if he knew Alberola. Ruano told me that he did not, but one day he came to Paris to visit relatives and he spoke to Guerrero in a car and there was someone else in the car. This contradicts what Guerrero says. According to Guerrero it was by chance that they bumped into one another. According to El Peque this happened in the Rue Saint Denis. Ruano, who was strolling in the area, said to him: “What about you, boyo, what brings you to these parts?” In his book ‘Y ustedes no dicen nada’, Guerrero spells this out, insisting that he had two young Dutch people with him. Through Juan Busquets whom I met in Burgos prison, and through the Madrid comrades, I discovered that while Ruano was a “memo”, that is, an “innocent”, he never used slang speech. In the very same book Guerrero takes Ruano to task and places these words in his mouth: “What am I like? Women are the only thing I’m interested in.”
6. It is known that Inocencio Martinez was the ‘tout’ in the Edo-Alicia Mur affair and in the Alberola-Lucio Urtubia affair. Some believe that he was the informer in the Granado-Delgado affair too, since he was a great pal of Delgado’s and lived in the same town. The fact is that comrades from Alès told me that many of them knew that Granado was intending to travel to Madrid. Besides, a police officer told Carlos Fonseca that Martinez was operating as an informer a year before Granado was arrested and, indeed, wrote him a letter telling him that Granado was off to Madrid — though he never got to read it because he was serving in Franco’s escort in Galicia.
There are two problems here: Granado left for Madrid in May and Franco was in Madrid until mid-June. So how come this policeman not only blew the cover on an informer but claims to have been on duty in Galicia when Martinez sent that letter. I am assuming that if Martinez did send a letter it was in May or June, so the officer could not have been serving in Galicia because Franco was still in Madrid at that point. Another point is that as a result of the Granado-Delgado affair the French police brought pressure to bear on Martinez and the latter caved in and turned informer, on behalf, not of the Spanish police, but of the French police.
As you will have read, all these matters are studded with incompetence, stupidities, irresponsibilities, and, among other things, the settling of old scores,
Antonio Martín’s thoughts on the 17 October 2009 meeting with El Peque in Madrid. http://www.fondation-besnard.org/article.php3?id_article=942