Dominican Republic Minister Shot Dead In Office

The Dominican Republic’s environment minister, Orlando Jorge Mera, was shot dead during a meeting on Monday by a businessman and longtime friend, who has been taken into custody, the government said.

A lawyer and politician, the 55-year-old Jorge Mera was the son of former president Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982-86), and had headed the environment ministry since mid-2020.

“The information we have at the moment indicates that this morning the environment minister lost his life after he was attacked with a firearm in his office,” said Homero Figueroa, the spokesman for the presidency.

“Miguel Cruz, who has been identified as the shooter, was a personal friend of the dead minister,” he said.

Figueroa said the suspect was in police custody and his motive was “under investigation.”

The alleged shooter used his friendship with the victim to gain access to a secure area where Jorge Mera was holding a regular meeting with his deputies, ministry sources told AFP.

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