Orlando Jorge Mera, the Dominican Republic’s environment minister, was killed by his childhood friend Miguel Cruz.
Cruz visited Mera in her office and fired at least seven rounds at her, according to a video posted to Twitter by Homero Figueroa, a spokesperson for the president’s office.
Although the motive for the murder is unclear, Cruz has been arrested and an investigation is currently underway.
In number of the gobierno and of the President of the Republic @LuisAbinaderexpress our deepest condolences to the Mera Villegas family for the fallecimiento of the Ministro de Medio Ambiente, Orlando Jorge Mera. pic.twitter.com/3s5z9t07ee
— Homero Figueroa (@HomeroFigueroaG) June 6, 2022
Mera and Cruz had found themselves at loggerheads over environmental policy, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Cruz suffered losses after Mera reported 2,300 environmental permit violations to the courts.
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Presenting his condolences to the wife and children of the victims, President Luis Abinader said he was “deeply saddened” by the minister’s death.
Mera, who has headed the environment ministry since mid-2020, was the son of former president Salvador Jorge Blanco (1982-86).
The 55-year-old lawyer is married to Patricia Selma Villegas and has two children, including his son, Orlando Jorge Villegas, who is a federal legislator and a member of the Modern Revolutionary Party.
(With agency contributions)
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Post expires at 6:51am on Friday June 17th, 2022