Fausto Miguel de Jesús Cruz de la Mota, the alleged murderer of Dominican minister Orlando Mera, alleged that he acted in self-defense and that the evidence against him has been manipulated. He showed a handwritten letter in which he claimed to have lent more than $3 million to the minister to support President Luis Abinader in his political structure. According to Cruz de la Mota, when he went to pick up the $500,000 allegedly owed to him, Mera tried to kill him with a revolver. The suspect also expressed fear for his life and claimed that all the evidence against him had been tampered with.
Orlando Mera was murdered in his office in June 2022, at the age of 55. He was the son of former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco and had been in charge of the Ministry of Environment since August 2020. Cruz de la Mota was a childhood friend of the minister, according to the family, and was able to bypass office security.
The prosecution claims that the motive for the crime was retaliation for the rejection of an import permit for 5,000 tons of batteries for Cruz de la Mota’s company. The prosecution also states that Cruz de la Mota had been trying to obtain multiple permits and had recently threatened the Ministry’s legal consultant, Edilio Segundo Florian Santana.
Mera was the founder of the Modern Revolutionary Party together with Abinader, as well as having been president of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL) between 2000 and 2004, during the government of Hipolito Mejia. He was also the producer and host of a television program. His death recalls the murder of the mayor of Santo Domingo Este, Juan de los Santos, in December 2015, who was shot dead by a friend.
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