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Debt led to killing of Dominican Republic’s top mayor

Santo Domingo.-  Justice minister Francisco Dominguez on Tuesday said Santo Domingo Este mayor Juan de los Santos was shot four or five times by Luis Feliz, who then took his own life.

He also said Sgt. Archi de Jesus Medina, who one of the mayor´s bodyguards, was shot twice whereas the shooter shot himself in the  head.

Dominguez said everything points to a dispute over money Feliz owed the mayor.

On 6 December 2015, the ruling PLD had selected De los Santos to run for a third term as mayor of Santo Domingo East.

Two other men died in the tragic incident: the mayor’s bodyguard, National Police sergeant Alcides de Jesus Medina and the suspected murderer, 44-year old engineer Luis Esmelin Feliz Feliz, who is believed to have committed suicide afterwards.

Initial reports suggest that the suspected murderer was a disgruntled air-conditioning supplier to the mayor’s Juancito Sport chain of betting shops and had apparently been waiting to see him for a while. His company was LF Electric Construction. According to news reports, Feliz and De los Santos knew each other well. Nevertheless, Feliz had recently been the object of an embargo of personal assets ordered by Juan de los Santos because of his failure to fulfill a contracted project for RD$3 million.

What is believed to have happened is that De los Santos had been attending a meeting with fellow mayors and returned to his office to sign checks when Feliz entered and killed him by shooting him in the head and chest. He then killed the security guard before turning the gun on himself. Other reports suggest that the security guard shot Feliz, who then shot him.

De los Santos was known as “Juancito Sport,” which was the name of his betting shop business, which grew into a famous countrywide franchise.

He was a PLD deputy in Congress from 2002 to 2006, when he was elected mayor of Santo Domingo East. He successfully ran for a second term in 2010. He was also a member of the PLD Political Committee as well as a member of the PLD Central Committee since 2004. From 2013 until his death, he served as president of the Dominican Municipal Federation (Fedomu). De los Santos also was co-president of the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Municipal Associations (FLACMA) that is made up of Latin American mayors. He was a graduate of the UNAPEC business school and also had a Masters degree in sustainable urban development from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

De los Santos leaves his wife, Berlinesa Franco, and five children. The deceased sergeant Medina had two children and Feliz had five children.

Speaking outside the Fedomu building at the scene of the crime at around 2pm, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito stated that the motive could have been a debt the shooter owed De los Santos, which had led to the freezing of his personal assets. He also told the press De los Santos had received four or five bullet wounds.

The three bodies were taken to the National Institute of Forensic Science (Inacif) for autopsy.

Source: DT, DR1, DiarioLibre

Dec 16, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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