SANTO Domingo, Dominican Republic ( Associated Press) – The Dominican Republic’s minister of environment and natural resources – the son of a former president – was shot dead Monday by a close friend in his office, the presidential office said in a statement.
Orlando Jorge Mera was shot by Miguel Cruz, who has been taken into custody, officials said. Officials gave no probable motive and it was not immediately clear whether Cruz had a lawyer.
“We offer our deepest condolences,” the office of President Luis Abinador said.
George comes from a powerful political family. He is the son of former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco and his sister is a deputy minister in Abinador’s administration. George’s son is an MLA of the Modern Revolutionary Party, of which he is a founding member.
The family issued a statement saying that Cruz had been a friend of George’s since childhood, and that George had been shot several times.
“Our family forgives anyone who does this. One of Orlando’s greatest legacies is to not hold grudges in any way.”
Police and emergency officials surrounded the office of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in the capital of Santo Domingo and barred mourners from entering. George’s office is located on the fourth floor of a building that also houses the Ministry of Tourism.
“We are disturbed by the situation,” George’s ministry said in a brief statement.
Bartolome Puzal, executive director of the government’s Cabinet of Innovation, wrote that he mourned the killing.
He said, ‘His death is a tragedy. “We Dominicans must come together to achieve a settlement for peace and peaceful coexistence. No more violence.”
George was a lawyer who was appointed Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in August 2020.