REPORT: Childhood Friend Shot Dominican Republic’s Top Official Because He Was Denied Business Permits

(Photo by ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The childhood friend of the Dominican Republic’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Orlando Jorge Mera allegedly fatally shot the minister for denying him environmental permits he was seeking for various businesses, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

One of the permits requested by Jorge’s longtime friend Fausto Miguel de Jesús Cruz de la Mota was to export 5,000 tons of batteries, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Cruz was carrying these permits in a briefcase when he allegedly shot the minister six times at his office Monday.

According to the documents, Cruz sought to capitalize on his support of Jorge during his 2020 campaign for the Modern Revolutionary Party to obtain the environmental permits, the AP reported.

“I campaigned, and they’re not helping me,” Cruz said when he arrived at Jorge’s office in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources before he allegedly shot him, according to the AP. (RELATED: Plane Crashes In Dominican Republic, Killing Everyone On Board)

Cruz confessed to committing a crime to a priest and handed over a gun, after which authorities arrested him at the church.

Police found a 9 mm Uzi with two 30-round magazines and $2,000 in cash in Cruz’s car.

Jorge is the son of former Dominican President Salvador Jorge Blanco.