Dominican Republic Environment Minister Assassinated in His Office
( Breitbart )
Dominican Republic Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera was shot and killed in his government office on Monday by a man who knew Mera since childhood, the local Listín Diario newspaper reported Tuesday.
A man named Fausto Miguel de Jesús Cruz de la Mota fatally shot Mera multiple times on the morning of June 6 shortly after entering a building that houses offices for the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Santo Domingo.
“According to testimonies, Cruz arrived at Jorge Mera’s office as usual and a little upset asked to talk to him, to which he agreed and asked to be let in as he was ‘a good friend,'” the Listín Diario reported.
“After a few minutes, a heated discussion began and then several shots were heard from the place where the two were chatting. They were shots by Cruz at Jorge Mera,” the newspaper detailed.
Police officers arrested Cruz for Mera’s killing at a church located near the government office building later on Monday. Cruz reportedly confessed that he had committed a crime to a priest at the church and handed him a firearm before the clergyman called the police.
“Authorities said that in a phone conversation with Cruz while he was at the church, he promised to turn himself in if they guaranteed he wouldn’t be killed,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.
“Heavily armed police officers took him into custody at the church, which is about a 15-minute drive from the office where Jorge was shot,” the news agency detailed.
Cruz was seen wearing “a helmet and bulletproof vest” as police officers escorted him out of the church according to the AP.
The office of Dominican President Luis Abinader confirmed Mera’s killing on June 6. Authorities have yet to identify a motive for Mera’s murder.
“When questioned about the reasons for the attack or if he knew Miguel Cruz, the president [Abinader] said he was unaware of both,” the Listín Diario reported.
Mera’s family issued a revelatory statement on Monday in which they confirmed that Cruz, 56, and Mera, 55, had been lifelong friends.
“Our family forgives the person who did this. One of Orlando’s greatest legacies was to not hold grudges,” the statement read.
Mera was a lawyer by training who served as the Dominican Republic’s environment minister from August 2020 until his death on Monday. His father is former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco, who served as the island nation’s leader from 1982 to 1986.
Cruz’s father was Fausto Miguel Cruz Ramírez, who served as Chief of Staff of the Dominican Air Force from 1988 to 1990, during the administration of Dominican President Joaquín Balaguer.
“He [Mera] is survived by his wife, Patricia Selma Villegas, and his two children. His son, Orlando Jorge Villegas, is a federal legislator and member of the Modern Revolutionary Party,” Reuters reported on Tuesday