Dominican Republic cabinet minister killed in office

Police are deployed at the Dominican Ministry of Environment headquarters during a shooting, in Santo Domingo, on June 6, 2022. (Photo by ERIKA SANTELICES/afp/AFP via Getty Images)

The Dominican Republic’s minister of the environment and natural resources was shot and killed in his office on Monday, according to officials.

Authorities said Orlando Jorge Mera was shot by an unknown person. No further details were immediately available.

"We are troubled by the situation," Mera's ministry said in a brief statement.

Police and emergency officials swarmed the office of Environment and Natural Resources Minisatry in the capital of Santo Domingo and barred entry to it as mourners gathered nearby. Mera's office is located on the fourth floor of a building that also houses the Ministry of Tourism.

Bartolomé Pujals, executive director of the government’s Cabinet of Innovation, wrote that he lamented the killing.

"His death is a tragedy," he said. "We Dominicans have to come together to achieve a pact for peace and peaceful coexistence. No more violence."

Mera also was an attorney and a founding member of the Modern Revolutionary Party. He was appointed minister of the environment and natural resources in August 2020.