Dominican environmental minister was slain over denied permits

By Hanan Redwan Published on June 10, 2022
Dominican environmental minister was slain over denied permits

The childhood friend accused of fatally shooting the Dominican Republic’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources this week allegedly did so because he was denied environmental permits he was seeking on behalf of various companies, according to judicial documents obtained Wednesday.

One of the permits that slain former minister Orlando Jorge had denied had been submitted by his longtime friend and now suspect, Fausto Miguel de Jesús Cruz de la Mota, who served as intermediary between the companies and the ministry. That particular permit involved a request to export 5,000 tons (4,500 metric tons) of used batteries, according to the documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Those permits and others were found inside a briefcase the suspect was carrying when the minister, who is the son of a former president, was shot six times at his office on Monday, the documents state.

Authorities wrote that the suspect was bothered by that particular permit: “It had been denied, but they had resubmitted it.”

They also described Cruz as a “cold and calculating murderer” and are seeking one year of preventive prison as the investigation continues.

It was not immediately clear if Cruz had an attorney.

Shortly after Monday’s killing, police arrested Cruz at a church dozens of blocks away after telling a priest he committed a crime and handed over a gun to him.

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

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