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Dominican Republic: the Minister of the Environment shot dead by a relative

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According to several sources within the Ministry of the Environment of the Dominican Republic, the Minister Orlando Jorge Mera, was shot dead by a relative Monday in the building of his ministry. This relative would have burst in at the time of the weekly meeting held by the minister with his deputy ministers and would have opened fire.

The Minister of the Environment of the Dominican Republic, Orlando Jorge Mera, was shot and killed Monday by a relative in his office inside the ministry, announced the spokesman for the presidency. “The information we have at the moment indicates that in the early hours of today (Monday) the Minister of the Environment lost his life in an armed attack in his office,” said Homero Figueroa.

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“We are appalled by what happened”

“Miguel Cruz, the person identified as the shooter, was a personal friend of the minister,” he added, adding that he was “arrested” and that an investigation is underway to find out the motive for the murder. According to three sources within the ministry, who wished to remain anonymous, an armed man burst into the minister’s weekly meeting with his deputy ministers and opened fire.

This relative of the victim was able to have easier access to the security zones inside the ministry. The police have refused to communicate for the time being. AFP teams on site saw elite police units entering the building. “We are appalled by what happened,” tweeted the Ministry of the Environment, whose building in Santo Domingo was evacuated earlier. The environment minister was the son of former Dominican president Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982-1986).

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