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American Oil Worker Murdered in Venezuela, Government Says

A U.S. citizen employed by Intermoor Inc., a closely held Houston-based oil-services provider, was fatally shot in Venezuela on Jan. 27, according to the attorney general’s office.

Craig Dwayne Cormier, 36, was caught in crossfire at 11:30 p.m. in the city of Carupano in eastern Sucre state, the attorney general’s office said in a statement today. He had arrived in Venezuela two days earlier to conduct repair work on the Turquoise vessel that services an offshore platform owned by state-oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, according to the statement.

The murder rate has almost tripled to 67 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in South America, since President Hugo Chavez took power in 1999, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory. The government says the murder rate is lower.

Joe Herbet, an operations manager for Intermoor in Morgan City, Louisiana, said today in a telephone interview that the company couldn’t immediately respond to the information released from the attorney general’s office.

Venezuela has apprehended a suspect in the shooting, according to the statement.

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