Carolina Herrera Pens Tribute To Nephew Killed in Venezuela

Carolina Herrera - An Evening Honoring Carolina Herrera  2016 - Getty-H 2017
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Reinaldo Herrera was murdered on Thursday.

Designer Carolina Herrera, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, took to Instagram on Sunday to mourn the death of her nephew, who was killed near the capital of the country. 

According to Venezuelan media reports, Reinaldo Herrera, 34, was dining with his business partner, Fabrizio Mendoza, 31, on Thursday evening near Caracas when they were kidnapped by a group of men, who then asked for ransom for the pair. The ransom was reportedly paid, however Herrera and Mendoza were killed anyway. Their bodies were discovered later that night.

"Thank you so much for all your thoughtful messages. The family and I appreciate your kindness," wrote the 78-year-old on her brand's Instagram account. She also took the opportunity to address the civil unrest and tumult currently plaguing her homeland. 

"Our only hope is that the tragic assassination of our young nephew, Reinaldo and his colleague, Fabrizio will serve to mitigate the terrible carnage and murders that are committed against our youth in Venezuela," she continued. "The Electoral Results must be respected. The Communist Dictatorship must go." There have been several protests in the country as a reaction to the current political system, which the New York Times declares is a democracy "on the brink of collapse," thanks to an internal power struggle between democratic and authoritarian elements.

The Times reports that in 2016, the Venezuelan economy shrank 10 percent, and inflation skyrocketed 720 percent. The failure of government-sponsored programs has led to food scarcities and contributed to the rise of an increasingly violent black market culture. According to NBC, the climate of civil unrest has resulted in a spike in the number of homicides over the past 2 years.