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The Boston Globe

Obituaries

Paul Rose; Quebec separatist convicted of killing official

NEW YORK — Paul Rose, a strident Quebec separatist leader who in October 1970 helped kidnap and, he claimed, strangle a provincial official, inflaming a crisis that pitted terrorists against the Canadian prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, died March 14 in Montreal at 69.

The cause was a stroke, the magazine L’Aut’Journal announced on its website. He was a contributing writer there.

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More than 40 years ago, Mr. Rose was a member of the Front de Liberation du Quebec, or FLQ, an extremist group committed to using violence to win independence for French-speaking Quebec. It committed dozens of bombings from 1963 to October 1970.

The kidnapping was the second in five days of what came to be called ‘‘the October crisis.’’ On Oct. 5, an FLQ cell seized James Cross, the British trade commissioner, and demanded the release of 23 political prisoners, $500,000 in gold and the publication and broadcast of the group’s manifesto. On Oct. 10, an FLQ cell led by Mr. Rose kidnapped Pierre Laporte, the labor minister in the Quebec provincial government.

Hundreds were arrested. Challenged to say how far he would go, Trudeau stated defiantly, ‘‘Just watch me.’’

The crisis deepened Oct. 18, when Laporte’s body was found in the trunk of a car in an airport parking lot. He had been strangled, apparently with the chain of a religious medallion he wore around his neck. The killing, the only assassination of a Canadian political figure in the 20th century, was variously seen as retaliation for Trudeau’s crackdown; a result, perhaps unintended, of an attempted escape; or even an accident.

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