Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dominican Republic: Taiwanese Diplomat Murdered in Her Apartment

Julia Ou, 55, a Taiwanese diplomat accredited to the Dominican Republic was found murdered in her apartment in Santo Domingo's university district on Tuesday (April 17). According to EFE, the victim had been stabbed, strangled and beaten to death.

Ms. Ou, a second secretary at the Embassy, had mid-level responsibilities in the Embassy's consular section, and had been assigned to Santo Domingo for roughly a year. Her previous assignment was in Guatemala.

With Ou absent from work the next day and failing to take any calls or respond to email, Embassy staff and Dominican police went to her apartment building where they found the apartment entry door ajar, the apartment ransacked and Ms. Ou's body.

COMMENT: With information being very sketchy, it is difficult for authorities to identify a motive in Ou's murder; however, it is typical in homicides, even when cause of death may be evident, to conduct an autopsy in order to determine other motives for murder.

Like many Caribbean nations, economic crime in the Dominican Republic is high, with drug trafficking being a common thread in the society.

It goes without saying that all diplomatic organizations in our increasingly violent and perilous world should have formal security awareness training prior to being being posted abroad.

Additionally, all foreign embassies should ensure that the accommodations of their staffs are well-secured against burglary, home invasion and violence against persons.

This posting will be updated as new information becomes available.

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