Former Miss Venezuela Shot and Killed in Roadside Robbery

This is completely awful. Monica Spear, 29, former Miss Venezuela and current telenovela star, was shot and killed while vacationing in her home country. Spear's boyfriend was also killed. Venezuela has been called the most dangerous country in South America, due to government and police corruption, arms proliferation, and its use as a transit nation for the Colombian cocaine trade.

Via Reuters:

Monica Spear, 29, who was also a soap opera actress, and Henry Berry, 39, died in an attempted robbery on the highway between Puerto Cabello and Valencia in central Venezuela.

The 2004 Miss Venezuela winner lived in the United States but was vacationing in Venezuela. The pair's 5-year-old daughter survived the attack late on Monday, but with a bullet wound in her leg, the government and local media said.

Reports indicated Spear's car may have broken down before armed robbers approached - a common occurrence on roads after dark in one of the world's most violent nations.

Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez as president after Chavez's death, "has declared beating violent crime his No. 1 priority." But critics argue that Maduro's plans only target symptomatic issues—not the systemic corruption that allows violent crime to flourish.

Huge condolences to the families of Berry and Spear, and especially to their daughter.

Image via Getty.