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Tuesday, 07 June 2022 – The Dominican Republic’s minister of environment and natural resources has been shot and killed in his office by a close childhood friend, police in the country have said.
Orlando Jorge Mera, 55, was holding a meeting at the time of the attack on Monday, June 6, and at least six shots were heard during the attack, police say.
A presidential spokesman identified the killer as Miguel Cruz, describing him as a childhood friend of the minister.
Police say Cruz is now in custody even though the motive for the shooting remains unclear as at press time.
In a statement, Jorge Mera’s family said he had been shot multiple times by a man he was friends with since childhood but that they had forgiven his killer.
“Our family forgives the person who did this. One of Orlando’s greatest legacies was to not hold grudges,” they added.
Mr Jorge Mera had served in incumbent President Luis Abinader’s administration since July 2020.
He was the son of former President Salvador Jorge-Blanco and a founding member of the governing Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM).
He is survived by his wife who is also the Dominican ambassador to Brazil and two sons, one of whom is also a PRM lawmaker.