After the death of journalist Peter R. de Vries, the Netherlands faces the challenge of organized crime

Nine days after being shot by a gunman in the center of Amsterdam, the famous Dutch investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries, 64 years, died, Thursday July 15. His family, who said they were “incredibly proud” to have known such a man, communicated the news, causing a second shock in a country where the reporter appeared as a “national hero” “, in the words of the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema.

Many other personalities reacted, including the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, ” very touched “. The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, claimed to be “deeply affected” by this event “almost inconceivable” . Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, considered that the death of Mr. de Vries confirmed that “organized crime represents a great threat to journalism in the European Union [EU] .

Two men currently in custody – a 21-year-old rapper and a 35-year-old Polish worker – were quickly arrested after the crime outside the television studio where Peter R de Vries – who used the “R” to distinguish himself from his namesakes – had appeared on a famous program, “RTL Boulevard”. He had just mentioned the murder of a young hairdresser, killed in October 2019, in front of his 14-month-old daughter, who was sitting in the back seat of the car. One of those bloody settling of scores, which has been in the Dutch news for several years.

Specially interested in “cold cases”, cases closed by the police, Peter R. de Vries had helped to solve several among them, including the enigma of the disappearance of a young American on the island of Aruba, in the Caribbean, in 2005, which had earned her an award and international fame. Recently, he had again appealed for donations, in order to elucidate the disappearance of another young woman.

The suspected Mocro Maffia

The reporter was, however, most famous for helping convict Willem Holleeder, one of the country’s most notorious thugs. Sponsor of five assassinations and the kidnapping of the boss Alfred Heineken, in the 1980s, the one who was baptized “the Nose” was sentenced to life in 2019. He considered himself “betrayed” by de Vries, one of the key witnesses to his trial.