March 18, 2019

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Mexico Helicopter Crash Kills Governor and Her Husband, an Ex-Governor

Mexico Helicopter Crash Kills Governor and Her Husband, an Ex-Governor
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The governor of the Mexican state of Puebla and her husband, a lawmaker who was the former governor of the same state, were killed in a helicopter crash on Monday, according to Mexican officials and news media reports.

The governor, Martha Erika Alonso, took office just 10 days ago. She was the first female governor of her state.

Her husband, Rafael Moreno Valle, was once considered a rising political star of the center-right National Action Party. He governed Puebla, in central Mexico, from 2011 to 2017, and at one point was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. More recently, he was a federal senator.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose election in July upended the nation’s political establishment, offered his “deepest condolences” to their families on Monday and ordered the government to look into what happened.

“I am committing to investigate the causes of the accident; to tell the truth about what happened and to act accordingly,” wrote the president, a member of the Morena party.

The Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that the helicopter went down in the community of San Pedro Tlaltenango after leaving a heliport in Puebla.

In a statement, the government of Puebla state said that at least five people had died in the crash, including the governor and her husband. The other three people named were two captains, Roberto Coppe Obregón and Marco Antonio Tavera Romero, and an assistant to the senator, Héctor Baltazar Mendoza.

The statement described the crash as a “disaster” and said it had taken place in the municipality of Coronango.

Mr. Moreno Valle won the governorship of Puebla in 2010 and rose to become a powerful leader, close to Mexico’s former president, Enrique Peña Nieto. As his ambitions grew, Mr. Moreno Valle’s critics said, he resorted to increasingly harsh measures to keep Puebla state — including members of his own party — under control.

Over the years, he was accused of seeking to undermine the political process. The election that propelled his wife into the governorship was disputed by Mr. López Obrador’s party, which claimed that it had been manipulated by Mr. Moreno Valle to hand power to his wife, The Associated Press reported.

Ms. Alonso was ultimately sworn in Dec. 14.

Vicente Fox, who won the Mexican presidency as a member of the National Action Party, tweeted, “It fills me with sadness to have suddenly lost two great friends with brilliant political careers and stars of the opposition.”

Mr. Fox demanded an investigation.





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