SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic’s minister of environment and natural resources — the son of a former president — was gunned down Monday in his office by a close friend, the president’s office said. in a press release. .
Authorities said Orlando Jorge Mera was shot by Miguel Cruz, who was arrested. Officials gave no potential motive, and it was not immediately clear if Cruz had an attorney.
“We express our deepest condolences,” said President Luis Abinader’s office.
Jorge comes from a powerful political family. He is the son of former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco and his sister is vice minister in the administration of Abinader. Jorge’s son is a deputy of the Modern Revolutionary Party, of which he is a founding member.
The family released a statement saying that Cruz had been Jorge’s friend since childhood and that Jorge had been shot multiple times.
“Our family forgives whoever did this. One of Orlando’s greatest legacies was not holding grudges,” he said.
Police and emergency officials stormed the office of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in the capital of Santo Domingo and barred entry as mourners gathered nearby. Jorge’s office is on the fourth floor of a building that also houses the Ministry of Tourism.
“We are troubled by the situation,” Jorge’s ministry said in a brief statement.
Bartolomé Pujals, executive director of the government’s Innovation Cabinet, wrote that he lamented the murder.
“His death is a tragedy,” he said. “We Dominicans must come together to achieve a pact of peace and peaceful coexistence. More violence.
Jorge was a lawyer who was appointed Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in August 2020.