Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Venezuela: Former Miss Venezuela and Husband Shot, Killed in Roadside Robbery in Carabobo

According to The Latin American Tribune, actress and former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear Mootz, 29, and her husband, Irishman Thomas Henry Berry, 39, were shot and killed and their 5-year-old daughter wounded in an armed robbery on a highway in the central state of Carabobo.

The couple was found dead on Monday night (January 6) after their car broke down due to a mechanical problem.

The couple’s daughter was taken to a hospital where she remains in stable condition.

COMMENT: The armed robbery apparently occurred when the couple and their were waiting to receive roadside help, according to both Globovision and Union Radio.

Based in Miami, where Spear worked for US television network, Telemundo, the family was in Venezuela for a short vacation.

Spear was born in 1984 in Maracaibo, won the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant in 2004 and the next year participated in the Miss Universe pageant in Thailand, where she came in fourth.

After that she became an actress and starred in several soap operas, including “Mi prima Ciela,” “Calle Luna, Calle Sol,” “La Mujer Perfecta,” “Flor Salvaje” and “Pasion Prohibida.”

According to the US Department of State, Venezuela has been designated as “Critical” for violent crime, the highest level in the Department’s four-tier threat system of “critical, high, medium and low” threat.

Given the fact that Venezuela’s police system is grossly underpaid, corrupt and ineffective, I strongly urge that only those on essential travel visit the country, as violent crime permeates all states, but particularly in the capital.

As a side note, if residents or foreigners drive in Venezuela they should ensure that their vehicle is dependable and in good working condition, as a road-breakdown for even a short period of time leaves motorists prey to gunmen.

Reportedly, in a country of 30 million, six million illegal firearms are in the hands of career criminals.