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Venezuela's violent crime unstoppable: former beauty queen and husband shot dead

Wednesday, January 8th 2014 - 05:48 UTC
Full article 9 comments
 The 2004 Miss Venezuela was vacationing on her country The 2004 Miss Venezuela was vacationing on her country

Gunmen shot dead a former Miss Venezuela and her ex-husband in the South American nation, authorities said today. Monica Spear, 29, a soap opera actress, and Henry Berry, 39, died in an attempted robbery on the highway between Puerto Cabello and Valencia in central Venezuela.

 The 2004 Miss Venezuela winner lived in the United States but was vacationing in Venezuela. The pair's 7-year-old daughter survived yesterday the attack, but with a bullet wound in her leg, the government and local media said.

Responding to a reporter's question about the incident, President Nicolas Maduro said he learned from investigators that the victims' car burst a tire after running over something on the road, apparently placed by robbers to stop traffic.

Maduro said a tow truck arrived to help, but armed robbers also appeared and chased away the crew.

”They were inside the car and were riddled (with bullets),“ the president said on state TV: ”I ask those who assassinated this young person: what explanation do you have?“.

Venezuela's official homicide rate late year was 39 per 100,000 inhabitants, but local non-government organizations put the figure at nearly twice that for a total of 24,000 deaths.

Maduro says beating violent crime is his No. 1 priority, and polls consistently show it to be Venezuelans' main concern. But opponents say the government's anti-crime plans do not tackle root causes, such as impunity for criminals, corrupt courts and complicity by some poorly-paid police.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said he and Maduro should leave their political differences to one side.

”We should unite to win the war against violence and insecurity,“ he said. ”We're in an emergency. ... This situation calls for all of us to take a look at ourselves as a country.

Categories: Politics, Venezuela.

Top Comments

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  • Troy Tempest

    This story was on the news in Canada hours ago - nobody could believe the violence and the tragedy!!

    Jan 08th, 2014 - 06:41 am 0
  • Boovis

    A terrible story. My sympathy to the families and no support to those who are clearly incapable of running this country such as Maduro and Chavez before him. All those years in power were well enough for him to fix the nation's problems and he acheived what, exactly?

    Jan 08th, 2014 - 08:59 am 0
  • Anglotino

    The president said on state TV: ”I ask those who assassinated this young person: what explanation do you have?“

    Look in the mirror Maduro, then visit the corpse of your predecessor.

    That's the explanation you're looking for.

    Jan 08th, 2014 - 09:33 am 0
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