The Dominican Republic's Environment Minister was shot dead by a gunman who walked into his office Monday in Santo Domingo, while a meeting was going on, it was reported.
Minister Orlando Jorge Mera was killed by Miguel Cruz, who is said to have belonged to the deceased's circle of friends. The perpetrator barricaded himself in the building, which was entered by an elite unit of the local police.
The information we have so far indicates that in the morning hours of today the Minister of Environment lost his life when he was attacked in his office with a firearm. Miguel Cruz, the person identified as the shooter, was a personal friend of the deceased Minister, Presidential Spokesman Homero Figueroa said in a statement.
The assailant has been apprehended eventually, the authoriti3es also said.
On behalf of the Government and the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, we express our deepest condolences to the Mera Villegas family for the death of the Minister of the Environment, Orlando Jorge Mera, Figueroa added.
A son of former President Jorge Blanco (1982-1986), Orlando Jorge Mera was appointed Minister of Environment in August 2020 by President Luis Abinader.
The motives of the event are under investigation, the spokesman also pointed out. We will continue to share information in due course, he went on.
Since taking office, Mera had brought over 2,000 people and companies to justice, including ex-military, active military, senior businessmen, and police officers. The minister was committed to proper environmental management and compliance with the Constitution and the laws, adhering to transparency and public ethics.
The victim's family issued a statement in which they forgive Cruz: One of the great legacies of our Orlando was not to hold grudges, said the document posted on Twitter by the official's son, Orlando Salvador Jorge Villegas.