Caracas, Venezuela: Murder of Monica Spear is the latest in the line of high-profile targeted hits in Venezuela. According to reports appearing in the national and international media, Spear 29, ex-Miss Venezuela and her ex- husband Thomas Henry Berry 39, were slain on a deserted stretch of a highway.
The law and order situation is very bad in Venezuela. Armed robberies, kidnapping for ransom and related crimes are rampant and these crimes of heinous nature, are not an exception but a norm, in this oil-rich country. According to a survey conducted by a non-profit organization, 95 percent of the murders in Venezuela are unsolved and so is the case with other heinous crimes.
The media reports that the couple were returning home after spending the New Year vacations in the scenic mountains. At a less traveled patch of the highway the car’s tires punctured. This is the normal way in which criminals in Venezuela operate. Often deserted stretches of highway are blocked by placing sharp obstacles such as nails that puncture the tires of the vehicle traveling at a relatively high-speed.
In this case , according to the police sources, at least two tires were punctured by some sharp object that had been strategically placed on the road. It is interesting to note that two tow trucks arrived immediately at the scene. The attack took place when the four door sedan had been lifted by one of the tow trucks. Upon seeing the assailants approach the vehicle, the couple locked themselves inside the car. The assailants fired six-gun shots at the passengers. The couple died on the spot while their child, 5-years old Maya, suffered leg injuries. Presently she is in the custody of her relatives. She has survived the horrific incident but it goes without saying that her psyche has been badly scarred for the rest of her life. The murder of Spear and her husband is the first high-profile targeted hit of the New Year in Venezuela.
Spears and her British national husband were divorced for some time but they made it a point to travel and spend the vacations together, for the sake of their daughter. According to a family friend Berry knew the country better than most Venezuelans. If that is the case then why did he take this route at a relatively late time, is a question that haunts the mind.
Spear was a popular soap actress and a model in Venezuela. She was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004. She was the fifth runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant. Presently she was starring in a soap by U.S. based Telemundo. The news of her death spread like wild-fire. Her family , friends and fans are in deep mourning, some of them still can’t come to terms with the fact that Spear is dead. “Her natural would have been painful but bearable her murder is not. It is the responsibility of the authorities to catch the culprits as soon as possible,” a crying fan demanded with tears in her eyes and anger in her words. The fact is that Spear becomes one in the line of rising high-profile targeted hits in Venezuela.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada