Media Accounts of the Assassination of Mario Bachand

I began my inquiries into the murder of Mario Bachand by reading reports in the French and Canadian newspapers.

The 30 March issue of Le Journal de Montréal carried two articles by Pierre Bouchard, their specialist on the FLQ, based on the AFP dispatch that had arrived at midnight, Le Journal de Montréal deadline. “Terrorist from the beginning, professional agitator, François Mario Bachand died yesterday, overcome by blows to the skull, in a small apartment in a Paris suburb.” Bouchard suggested the murder was a settling of accounts and stemmed from Bachand’s personality. “The combat that Bachand, terrorist, agitator, subversive, had led during his short life had above all been that of an individual. Since his recruitment by the FLQ, Mario had made sworn enemies amongst his revolutionary colleagues. He was reproached for wanting to act independently of others; he was characterized as arrogant, intransigent… a dictator… who believed in no one and in whom no one believed.” Bouchard revealed that Bachand, on his last trip to Cuba, had argued with FLQ members there and implied that they were somehow involved in the murder. Bouchard did not give names, but everyone knew he referred to Pierre Charette and Alain Allard.

Charette and Allard were responsible for several bombings in 1968-early 1969 as a cell of the so-called ‘Geoffroy Reseau’, led by Pierre-Paul Geoffroy.  There was a second cell, led by Normand Roy, Michel Lambert and others.

On the 4th of April 1971, Le Journal de Montréal published an article by their News Director, Denis Lamoureux.

Lamoureux had travelled to Paris the night of the murder. He was uniquely qualified to write about the affair, for in 1963 he had been in the FLQ with Bachand. On the evening of May 16, 1963, Lamoureux, Bachand and two other youths had driven through the streets of Westmount, an Anglophone, wealthy enclave in Montreal, placing bombs in mailboxes. The next morning, a Canadian Army explosives expert was grievously injured by a bomb that exploded in his face. Montreal Police and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) identified the 23-some members of the FLQ , after three months of counter-terrorist operations. Lamoureux, and Bachand ended up being sentenced to four-years imprisonment for this and other bombing actions.

Following his release from prison, Lamoureux joined Le Journal de Montréal, becoming News Director in 1970. His inquiries into the murder of Bachand resulted in the following article:

“I no longer share the objectives and methods of the FLQ.” Two days after having made this declaration, Mario Bachand, ex-felquist and Quebec activist, was assassinated in a small apartment in a suburb of Paris! In the course of an interview he gave to our colleague Colette Duhaime, on study leave in the French capital, Bachand affirmed that he was no longer a member of the Quebec Liberation Front, but he would always remain a ‘convinced independantist.” Is it necessary to look for the key to the enigma of St-Ouen in the state of mind shown by the once terrorist with respect to the FLQ? That is what Inspector Mornot of the Brigade criminelle appears to believe, who is not far from concluding it was a political execution…
The declarations made by Bachand appear in effect to indicate a complete, and perhaps even fatal, break with the Front. Anti-establishment, Bachand crossed swords several times with Quebec revolutionary militants. Endowed with a strong personality, the young man showed in the regard of his colleagues and equally great intransigence as that shown towards the regime… The drama of rue Eugène-Lumeau— was it the outcome of an old quarrel? It is possible. As it is also possible that the fiery activist made himself new enemies among the revolutionaries in exile.

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