CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – A ballerina from the Georgia national ballet has been shot dead in Venezuela by three men who tried to rob the 21-year-old on a street in the crime-racked South American nation, authorities have said.
Police in the central city of Barquisimeto, 190 miles (300 km) from Caracas, said the young dancer was killed after she ran screaming from the three assailants, who accosted her late Thursday on a dark street only a few blocks from her hotel.
The ballet troupe from the former Soviet Republic was on a tour of Latin America.
“In our 20 years of artistic work in many different nations all over the world… nothing like this has ever happened, we are totally shocked,” said a spokesman for the company.
“The greatest maxim in show business is the show must go on and that is what the ballet management believes,” he added.
The ballerina’s 27-year-old husband remained in his hotel room in a state of shock, local media reported.
One person is killed almost every hour in Venezuela, where widespread poverty and high unemployment have pushed violence to unprecedented levels for the nation of 24 million people.
“It is tragic, and we must be more careful when we have a visitors who do not understand how violent the situation is here,” said Luis Reyes, governor of Lara state.