This Month in History: Cuban-Trained Terrorist Killed Self to Escape Arrest Reply

In September 1968, the French woman Michele Jeannette Burgo Firk killed herself in Guatemala City to avoid arrest by the Guatemalan government.  Government officials wanted to question her for her alleged role in the assassination of US Ambassador John Gordon Mein.  She had been an agent for Cuban spy Adalberto Quintana Suarez, who handled her earlier as the DGI Centro Chief in Paris.  Quintana subsequently served as a Deputy Section Chief and Vice Director of ICAP.

Firk had been a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), the group that assassinated the US Ambassador.  According to a Granma story of October 13, 1968, the FAR had intended to kidnap rather than kill Ambassador Mein. The resulting government investigation led to the arrests of many FAR leaders.  In its subsequent obituary, Granma praised Firk and claimed she met and joined the FAR during her 1963 visit to Cuba.  By the end of 1968, the guerrilla movement in Guatemala had been destroyed.

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