EXCLUSIVE: Father of Miss Venezuela shot dead in brutal robbery vows to win custody of granddaughter, 5, and take her to the US as it is revealed brave girl ‘will attend funeral’
-Maya Spear was orphaned when her mother Monica Spear Mootz and father Thomas Berry were gunned down in front of her in their broken down car in Venezuela
-Her father, Rafael, today told MailOnline he will fight to take her out of the country and to the US
-But parents of beauty queen’s husband, who live in Venezuela, say plans are still to be decided
-Maya was also shot, but has left hospital and is expected to attend her parents’ funeral after being told the shattering news
-Monica, who won the Miss Venezuela title in 2004, had joined her 39-year-old estranged husband on a drive holiday
-The killings have convulsed the crime-ridden country and sparked protests
-Police revealed that Spear’s camerabag was today found in possession of a woman believed to be in gang behind the murders
Opponents also cite what they call the government’s efforts to limit press coverage of the problem. Courts in August fined newspaper El Nacional the equivalent of 1% of a year’s revenue for publishing a gruesome picture of a Caracas morgue in 2010 to underscore the country’s crime problem.
The government said the images violated decency laws designed to protect children.
Advocacy groups blame corruption in the police ranks, widespread availability of arms and impunity for rising crime.
Streets of major cities such as Caracas are typically barren at night, their residents fearing crimes such as muggings and kidnappings for ransom, which are common.
How did Venezuela become so violent? Fusion panel: