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Barry Seal – DEA Informant : Life & Death

Adler Berrima Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal

Barry Seal

Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal (July 16, 1939 – February 19, 1986) was a Trans World Airlines (TWA) pilot who became a major drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel. When Seal was convicted of smuggling charges, he became an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration and testified in several major drug trials. He was murdered in 1986 by contract killers hired by Pablo Escobar, head of the Medellín Cartel.

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The Rise & Fall of Pablo Escobar El Patron Medellin Cartel Documentary

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Early life

Seal, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the son of Mary Lou (née Delcambre) and Benjamin Kurtis Seal, a candy wholesaler. Seal began flying as a teenager. According to his flight instructor, he was a naturally gifted pilot. He earned his student pilot certificate at 16 and a private pilot’s certificate at 17.

In 1961, Seal enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard for six years, serving with the 20th Special Forces Group. He graduated from United States Army Airborne School but never completed United States Army Special Forces selection and training. Seal later served in the 245th Engineer Battalion with his MOS being radio telephone operator.

Early career

Barry Seal In his TWA uniform

Seal joined TWA as a flight engineer in 1964 and was soon promoted to first officer, then captain, flying a Boeing 707 on a regular Western Europe route. He was one of the youngest 707 command pilots in the TWA fleet.

Seal’s career with TWA ended in July 1972, when he was arrested for involvement in a conspiracy to smuggle a shipment of plastic explosives to Mexico using a DC-4. The case was eventually dismissed in 1974 for prosecutorial misconduct, but TWA in the meantime fired Seal, who had falsely taken medical leave to participate in the scheme.

Drug smuggling career

According to statements Seal made after becoming a DEA informant, he began smuggling small quantities of cannabis . By 1978, he had begun flying significant loads of cocaine, because pound-for-pound it was more profitable.

In December 1979, Seal was arrested in Honduras after returning from a drug smuggling trip to Ecuador. Although the Honduran police did not find any cocaine, they did find an M-1 rifle, and Seal was imprisoned until July 1980.

Undeterred by his arrest, Seal expanded his operations upon returning to the United States. He hired William Bottoms, his ex-brother-in-law, as a pilot, and from 1980 on Bottoms was the main pilot in Seal’s smuggling enterprise, while Seal oversaw planning and operations.

Seal later began working for the Medellín Cartel as a pilot and drug smuggler. He transported numerous shipments of cocaine from Colombia and Panama to the United States, and earned as much as $1,300,000 per flight.

After successful runs at his home base in Louisiana he moved operations to Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, in Mena, Arkansas. There he bought, sold and operated many planes.

Undercover informant and operative

Seal was eventually arrested in connection with his drug smuggling activities. In a Florida federal court, he was indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. After his sentencing, Seal approached the DEA and offered to cooperate with the government as an informant.

Federal officials agreed to use him in that capacity and mentioned his cooperation during hearings in which Seal sought a reduction of his sentence. With an agreement reached, Seal began working as a federal informant in March 1984.

According to the FrontlineGodfather of Cocaine investigation, Ernst “Jake” Jacobson was Seal’s DEA handler during this period. Jacobson claims he still has the high-tech message encrypter which he gave Seal.

“We made sure all of his aircraft were equipped with the most expensive cryptic radio communications we had ever seen at that time,”

said Jacobson.

In order to mitigate his 1984 arrest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for money laundering and Quaalude smuggling, Seal agreed to testify against his former employers and associates in the drug trade, and thereby contributed to putting several of them in jail. Among those against whom Seal testified were Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands Norman Saunders and members of the Medellín Cartel. Seal also testified before the President’s Commission on Organized Crime in October 1985.

Jacobson, testifying in 1988, told a House Judiciary Committee that Seal had flown to an airstrip in Nicaragua in an airplane that had cameras installed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Seal took pictures during the Nicaragua sting operation that showed Pablo EscobarJorge Luis Ochoa Vásquez, and other members of the Medellín Cartel loading kilos of cocaine onto a C-123 transport plane. Federico Vaughan, the Sandinista Minister of the Interior, who Seal claimed was a top aide of Tomas Borge‘s, was also photographed with Sandinista soldiers helping load the plane.

Pablo Escobar

Seal was both a smuggler and a DEA informant/operative in this sting operation against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. In 1984, Seal flew from Nicaragua to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida with a shipment of cocaine that had been allegedly brokered through the Sandinista government.

This cocaine was seized by the DEA and was never received by the cartel’s distribution handlers in Florida, which in Medellín caused suspicion to fall upon Seal as the person responsible for this lost shipment.

Edmond Jacoby’s report in the July 17, 1984 issue of the Washington Times linked officials in the Sandinista government to the Medellín cartel and discussed Seal’s mission to Nicaragua. The public disclosures jeopardized Seal’s life and quickly brought an end to the sting operation designed to capture the cartel’s leaders.

Questioned about the identity of the source, Jacobson replied, “I heard that the leak came from an aide in the White House”. He stated that Iran–Contra figure Oliver North had attended two meetings about the sting operation and had motivation to release the information. UPI reported: “By linking the Sandinistas with drug traffic … aid to the rebels accused of human rights violations might seem more palatable”.

Subcommittee chairman William J. Hughes strongly suggested that North was the source of the leak, but Representative Bill McCollum said,

“…we don’t know who leaked this. No one has been able to tell us”.

 Citing testimony of DEA Administrator John C. Lawn, the report of the Kerry Committee released in December 1988 pinned the leak on North stating he “decided to play politics with the issue”. In an interview with Frontline, North said he was told by his superiors on the National Security Council to brief Senator Paula Hawkins about the operation, but he denied leaking the report.

Hawkins told Frontline that neither she nor her staff leaked the information after the briefing.Jacoby later denied that North was the source of his story and attributed it to a deceased staff member for Representative Dan Daniel.

The Wall Street Journal also printed the story, contributing to media coverage that indirectly exposed Seal’s involvement in the operation. The articles also exposed the Colombian cartel leaders and Nicaraguan Interior Minister who had been photographed moving cocaine onto Seal’s aircraft. Despite these pressures, Seal went ahead and testified with the pictures taken during the trip showing Sandinista officials in Nicaragua brokering a cocaine deal with members of Colombia’s Medellín Cartel.

Murder

Seal was sentenced to work in public service at the Salvation Army facility on Airline Highway (U.S. 61), in Baton Rouge, as a modification by the judge to Seal’s original plea deal. On February 19, 1986, Seal was shot to death in front of the site. His murder abruptly brought the DEA’s investigation to an end.

 Barry Seal | American Dope

Colombian assassins sent by the Medellín Cartel were apprehended while trying to leave Louisiana, soon after Seal’s murder. Authorities thus concluded Seal’s murderers were hired by Ochoa. The killers were indicted by a state grand jury on March 27, 1986.

In May 1987, Luis Carlos Quintero-Cruz, Miguel Vélez (died in custody 2015) and Bernardo Antonio Vásquez were convicted of first degree murder in Seal’s death, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Barry Seal’s Grave

Louisiana Attorney General William Guste wrote to United States Attorney General Edwin Meese criticizing the government’s failure to protect Seal as a witness. At Guste’s request, Meese launched an investigation to determine whether or not attorneys in Louisiana, Miami, and Washington had mishandled the case, and to determine whether or not Seal should have been forced into protective custody. Government attorneys stated that Seal placed himself in danger by refusing to move his family and enter a witness protection program.

In 1991, cartel member Max Mermelstein testified that he had been instructed in December 1984 either to kidnap Seal and return him to Colombia, or to murder him. The reward to kidnap Seal was $1 million, and the reward to kill him was $500,000.

Personal life

Deborah DuBois his third wife and children

Seal married three times; the first to Barbara Dodson from 1963 to 1971 and to Lynn Ross from 1971 to 1972 – ended in divorce. His marriage to Deborah DuBois, in 1973, ended with his death in 1986. Seal had 6 children, 2 from his first wife, one child from a relationship he had in between marriages and three more with Debbie. 

Media depictions

Films

  • Seal is portrayed by Dennis Hopper in the docudrama Doublecrossed (1991), which prominently features Seal’s co-pilot and collaborator Emile Camp[27][28] (portrayed by G. W. Bailey), although some of the Camp plotlines stand in for actual events involving William Roger Reeves, who met Seal in jail and introduced him to the Medellín Cartel.
  • Seal is portrayed by Michael Paré in the American crime drama film The Infiltrator (2016), in two brief, historically inaccurate scenes that exercise dramatic license to depict the film’s title character, Robert Mazur, as a passenger in a car being driven by Seal who is killed in a motorcycle drive-by shooting.
  • Seal is portrayed by Tom Cruise in the crime drama-comedy film American Made (2017), loosely based on Seal’s life, produced by Imagine Entertainment. Little of the film is historically accurate; most of the plot, such as the assassination of Seal’s brother-in-law, were invented for purposes of the film.

Television

  • Seal is portrayed by theater director Thaddeus Phillips in the 2013 TV series Alias El Mexicano.
  • Seal is portrayed by Dylan Bruno in Season 1, Episode 4, of the Netflix series Narcos (2015).

Inside the Colombian Cartels

Other drug stories

See: Kiki Camarena – The Brutal Torture & Death of a Narc

See : Gangster Warlords – Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Lord of the Skies

Gangster Warlords – Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Lord of the Skies

Gangster Warlords

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Lord of the Skies

Image result for Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Amado Carrillo Fuentes  December 17, 1956 – July 4, 1997) was a Mexican drug lord who seized control of the Juárez Cartel after assassinating his boss Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.

Related image

Amado Carrillo became known as “El Señor de Los Cielos” (“The Lord of the Skies”), because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs. He was also known for laundering money via Colombia to finance his large fleet of airplanes.

Image result for Amado Carrillo Fuentes

He died in July 1997, in a Mexican hospital, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance.

In his final days Carrillo was being tracked by Mexican and U.S. authorities

BornAmado Carrillo Fuentes
December 17, 1956
Guamuchilito, SinaloaMexico
DiedJuly 4, 1997 (aged 40)
Mexico City, Mexico
Other namesEl Señor de los Cielos
OccupationDrug lord
EmployerHead of Juárez Cartel
Known forDrug trafficking and weapons
PredecessorRafael Aguilar Guajardo
SuccessorVicente Carrillo Fuentes
Spouse(s)Lesley Arriaga Carrillo
ChildrenVicente Carrillo Leyva
RelativesErnesto Fonseca CarrilloVicente Carrillo Fuentes

Early Life

Carrillo was born to Walter Vicente Carrillo Vega and Aurora Fuentes in Guamuchilito, Navolato, Sinaloa, Mexico. He had eleven siblings. Carillo was the nephew of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, also known as “Don Neto”, the Guadalajara Cartel leader. Amado got his start in the drug business under the tutelage of his uncle Ernesto and later brought in his brothers, and eventually his son Vicente José Carrillo Leyva.

Image result for Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo,
Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo,

Carrillo’s father died in April 1986. Carillo’s brother, Cipriano Carrillo Fuentes, died in 1989 under mysterious circumstances.[

Career

Initially, Carrillo was part of the Guadalajara Cartel, sent to Ojinaga, Chihuahua to oversee the cocaine shipments of his uncle, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo (“Don Neto”), and to learn about border operations from Pablo Acosta Villarreal (“El Zorro de Ojinaga”; “The Ojinaga Fox”) and Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.

Amado Carillo Fuentes – Mexican Drug Lord Kingpin (Crime Documentary)

Later, Carrillo worked with Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel smuggling drugs from Colombia to Mexico and the United States. He worked with El Chapo Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Arellano Felix family and the Beltran Leyva Organization. During his tenure, Carrillo reportedly built a multibillion-dollar drug empire. It was estimated that he may have made over US$25 billion in revenue in his career.[

Death

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Amado Carrillo Fuentes

The pressure to capture Carrillo intensified among U.S. and Mexican authorities, and perhaps for this reason, Carrillo underwent facial plastic surgery and abdominal liposuction to change his appearance on July 4, 1997, at Santa Mónica Hospital in Mexico City. However, during the operation, he died of complications apparently caused either by a certain medication or a malfunctioning respirator.

Two of Carrillo’s bodyguards were in the operating room during the procedure. There is also very little paper work regarding the death of Amado Carillo Fuentes. On November 7, 1997, the two physicians who performed the surgery on Fuentes were found dead, encased in concrete inside steel drums, with their bodies showing signs of torture.

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Juárez Cartel after Carrillo

On the night of August 3, 1997, at around 9:30 p.m., four drug traffickers walked into a restaurant in Ciudad Juárez, pulled out their guns, and opened fire on five diners, killing them instantly.[

Police estimated that more than 100 bullet casings were found at the crime scene. According to a report issued by the Los Angeles Times, four men went to the restaurant carrying at least two AK-47 automatic rifles while others stood at the doorstep.[

 On their way out, the gunmen claimed another victim: Armando Olague, a prison official and off-duty law enforcement officer, who was gunned down outside the restaurant after he had walked from a nearby bar to investigate the shooting. Reportedly, Olague had run into the restaurant from across the street with a gun in his hand to check out the commotion. It was later determined that Olague was also a known lieutenant of the Juarez cartel.[

Mexican authorities declined to comment on the motives behind the killing, stating the shootout was not linked to the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Nonetheless, it was later stated that the perpetrators were gunmen of the Tijuana Cartel.

Underworld Tijuana Cartel Documentary

Although confrontations between narcotraficantes were commonplace in Ciudad Juárez, they rarely occurred in public places. What happened in the restaurant threatened to usher in a new era of border crime in the city.[

In Ciudad Juárez, the PGR seized warehouses they believed the cartel used to store weapons and cocaine; they also seized over 60 properties all over Mexico belonging to Carrillo, and began an investigation into his dealings with police and government officials. Officials also froze bank accounts amounting to $10 billion belonging to Carrillo.[

In April 2009, Mexican authorities arrested Carillo’s son, Vicente Carrillo Leyva.[

Funeral

Carrillo was given a large and lavish expensive funeral in Guamuchilito, Sinaloa. In 2006, Governor Eduardo Bours asked the federal government to tear down Carrillo’s mansion in HermosilloSonora.[

The mansion, dubbed “The Palace of a Thousand and One Nights”, although still standing, remains unoccupied.[c

Main Source : wikipedia Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Media Portrayals

See : Kiki Camarena – The Brutal Torture & Death of a Narc

See: Dublin’s Deadly Gang-War

Veronica Guerin – 1958 – 1996.Life & Death

Veronica Guerin

5 July 1958 – 26 June 1996

Veronica Guerin (5 July 1958 – 26 June 1996) was an Irish crime reporter who was murdered on 26 June 1996 by drug lords, an event which helped establish the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin real person.jpg

Guerin in the 1990s
Born (1958-07-05)5 July 1958[1]
Dublin, Ireland
Died 26 June 1996(1996-06-26) (aged 37)
Naas Dual Carriageway, Newlands Cross, County Dublin
Education Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation Accountant, journalist
Years active 1990–1996
Notable credit(s)
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Graham Turley
Children Cathal

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Dublin Gangland

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Early and personal life

The daughter of accountant Christopher and his wife Bernadette,  Veronica was nicknamed “Ronnie.” She and her four siblings were born and brought up in Artane, Dublin, and attended Catholic school where she excelled in athletics. Besides basketball and camogie, aged 15 she played in the all-Ireland football finals with a slipped disc.  Guerin studied accountancy at Trinity College, Dublin.

Guerin married Graham Turley, and the couple had a son Cathal. A big fan of Manchester United football team, her prized possession was a photo of her and Eric Cantona taken on a visit to Old Trafford.

PR career: 1983–1990

After she graduated, her father employed her at his company; but following his death three years later, she changed professions and started a public relations firm in 1983, which she ran for seven years.

In 1983–84, she served as secretary to the Fianna Fáil group at the New Ireland Forum.[5] She served as Charles Haughey‘s personal assistant, and became a family friend, taking holidays with his children. In 1987 she served as election agent and party treasurer in Dublin North for Seán Haughey.

Journalism career: 1990–1996

In 1990, she changed careers again, switching to journalism as a reporter with the Sunday Business Post and Sunday Tribune, working under editor Damien Kiberd. Craving first-hand information, she pursued a story directly to the source with little regard for her personal safety, to engage those she deemed central to a story. This allowed her to build close relationships with both the legitimate authorities, such as the Garda Síochána (police), and the criminals, with both sides respecting her diligence by providing highly detailed information. She also reported on Irish Republican Army activities in the Republic of Ireland.

From 1994 onwards, she began to write about criminals for the Sunday Independent. Using her accountancy knowledge to trace the proceeds of illegal activity, she used street names or pseudonyms for underworld figures to avoid Irish libel laws.

When she began to cover drug dealers, and gained information from convicted drugs criminal John Traynor, she received numerous death threats. The first violence against her occurred in October 1994, when two shots were fired into her home after her story on murdered crime kingpin Martin Cahill was published. Guerin dismissed the “warning”. The day after writing an article on Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, on 30 January 1995, she answered her doorbell to a man pointing a revolver at her head. The gunman missed and shot her in the leg. Regardless, she vowed to continue her investigations. Independent Newspapers installed a security system to protect her, and the police gave her a 24-hour escort; however, she did not approve of this, saying that it hampered her work.[citation needed]

On 13 September 1995, convicted criminal John Gilligan, Traynor’s boss, attacked her when she confronted him about his lavish lifestyle with no source of income. He later called her at home and threatened to kidnap and rape her son, and kill her if she wrote anything about him.

Guerin received the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists in December 1995.

Murder

Murder Scene

 

 

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Veronica Guerin – Murder

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On the evening of 25 June 1996, Gilligan drug gang members Charles Bowden, Brian Meehan, Peter Mitchell and Seamus Ward had met at their distribution premises on the Greenmount Industrial Estate. Bowden, the gang’s distributor and ammunition quartermaster, had supplied the three with a Colt Python revolver loaded with .357 Magnum Semiwadcutter bullets.

On 26 June 1996, while driving her red Opel Calibra, Guerin stopped at a red traffic light on the Naas Dual Carriageway near Newlands Cross, on the outskirts of Dublin, unaware she was being followed. She was shot six times, fatally, by one of two men sitting on a motorcycle.

About an hour after Guerin was murdered, a meeting took place in Moore Street, Dublin, between Bowden, Meehan, and Mitchell. Bowden later denied under oath in court that the purpose of the meeting was the disposal of the weapon but rather that it was an excuse to appear in a public setting to place them away from the incident.

At the time of her murder, Traynor was seeking a High Court order against Guerin, to prevent her from publishing a book about his involvement in organised crime.[

Guerin was killed two days before she was due to speak at a Freedom Forum conference in London. The topic of her segment was “Dying to Tell the Story: Journalists at Risk.

Her funeral was attended by Ireland’s Taoiseach John Bruton, and the head of the armed forces. It was covered live by Raidió Teilifís Éireann. On 4 July, labour unions across Ireland called for a moment of silence in her memory, which was duly observed by people around the country. Guerin is buried in Dardistown Cemetery, County Dublin.

Aftermath

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Ward charged with murder

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Guerin’s murder caused outrage, and Taoiseach John Bruton called it “an attack on democracy”. The Oireachtas, the Irish parliament, realised the potential of using tax enforcement laws as a means of deterring and punishing criminals. Within a week of her murder, it enacted the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 and the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996, so that assets purchased with money obtained through crime could be seized by the government. This led to the formation of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

After the murder of Guerin, Bowden was arrested as were the other members of Gilligan’s gang who were still in Ireland. In an agreement with the Attorney General of Ireland, Bowden agreed to turn state’s witness, and become the first person to enter the Republic of Ireland’s Witness Security Programme. Granted immunity from prosecution for the murder of Guerin, he was the only witness to give evidence against all four drug gang members at their trials in the Special Criminal Court: Patrick Holland, Paul “Hippo” Ward, Brian Meehan and John Gilligan. The investigation into Guerin’s death resulted in over 150 other arrests and convictions, as well as seizures of drugs and arms. Drug crime in Ireland dropped 15 percent in the following 12 months.

Patrick “Dutchy” Holland

In 1997 while acting as a Garda witness, Bowden named Patrick “Dutchy” Holland in court as the man he supplied the gun to, and hence suspected of shooting Guerin. Holland was never convicted of the murder, and he denied the accusation up until his death in June 2009 while in prison in the UK.

In November 1998, after evidence from Bowden and others, Paul “Hippo” Ward was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison as an accomplice, because he had disposed of the murder weapon and the motorbike. This conviction was later overturned on appeal.

Brian Meehan fled to Amsterdam with Traynor (who later escaped to Portugal). After the court dismissed additional evidence from Bowden, Meehan was convicted on the testimony of gang member turned state’s witness Russell Warren, who had followed Guerin’s movements in the hours before the murder, and then called Meehan on a mobile phone with the details. Meehan was convicted of murdering Guerin, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

John Gilligan left Ireland the day before Guerin was murdered, on a flight to Amsterdam. He was arrested 12 months later in the United Kingdom trying to board a flight for Amsterdam, after a routine search of his baggage revealed $500,000 in cash. Claiming it was the proceeds of gambling, he was charged with money laundering. After a three-year legal battle, he was extradited to Ireland on 3 February 2000. Tried and acquitted of Guerin’s murder, he was later convicted of importing 20 tonnes of cannabis and sentenced to 28 years in prison, reduced to 20 years on appeal.

Pursued by CAB, in January 2008, Gilligan made a court appearance in an attempt to stop the Irish State from selling off his assets. He accused Traynor of having ordered Guerin’s murder without his permission. Despite the presiding judge’s attempt to silence Gilligan, he continued to blame a botched Gardaí investigation and planted evidence as the reason for his current imprisonment. Traynor had fled to Portugal after Guerin’s murder, and having been on the run from British authorities since 1992, resided mainly in Spain and the Netherlands from 1996 onwards. After a failed extradition from the Netherlands in 1997, which brought Meehan back to Ireland, in 2010 Traynor was arrested after a joint UK SOCA/Regiokorpsen operation in Amsterdam. Traynor, as of 2013, is living in Kent, England after serving time in an English gaol. It is reported that he is still wanted for tax evasion in Ireland.

Turley remarried in 2011

Memorial

Monument to Veronica Guerin, located in Dublin Castle gardens

 

A memorial statue to Guerin is located in Dubh Linn Gardens, in the grounds of Dublin Castle.

On 2 May 1997, at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, her name and those of 38 other international journalists who died in the line of duty in 1996 were added to the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial. Her husband addressed the audience:

“Veronica stood for freedom to write. She stood as light, and wrote of life in Ireland today, and told the truth. Veronica was not a judge, nor was she a juror, but she paid the ultimate price with the sacrifice of her life.”

In 2000, Guerin was named as one of the International Press Institute‘s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.

In 2007, the Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship was set up at Dublin City University, offering a bursary intended to meet the cost of fees and part of the general expenses of an MA in Journalism student who wishes to specialise in investigative journalism

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The murder of Veronica Guerin

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