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Dominican Republic Minister shot dead in office by childhood friend

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Dominican Republic Minister shot dead in office by childhood friend

The Dominican Republic’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Orlando Jorge Mera, has been shot dead inside his office by a man said to be his childhood and personal friend, police officials say.

The 55-year-old Mera was said to be holding a meeting at the time of the attack when he was shot and killed, with the police saying at least six shots were heard.

A presidential spokesman who identified the assailant as Miguel Cruz, described him as a childhood friend of the minister.

“He is now in custody. The motive for the shooting remains unclear,” the spokesman said.

Mera’s family who also released a statement shortly after the incident, said he was shot multiple times by a man he was friends with since childhood.

“Our family forgives the person who did this. One of Orlando’s greatest legacies was to not hold grudges,” the statement added.

Read also: D’Tigers to play Canada, Dominican Republic in pre-World Cup friendlies

Mera, who was the son of former President Salvador Jorge-Blanco and a founding member of the governing Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), had served in incumbent President Luis Abinader’s administration since it came into power in July 2020.

In a tweet, President Abinader expressed his sincere condolences to Mera’s family and said that he deeply regretted the death of his good friend.

Mera leaves behind a wife who is the Dominican ambassador to Brazil, and two sons, one of whom is also a PRM lawmaker.

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