Mexico’s Secretary Of The Interior And Drug Czar Killed In Helicopter Crash


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Mexico’s Secretary Of The Interior And Drug Czar Killed In Helicopter Crash

By Mike Mitchell

November 12, 2011 - Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Jose Francisco Blake Mora died on Friday in a helicopter crash along with eight other people just outside Mexico City when his helicopter an Aerospatiale Super Puma crashed under heavy fog conditions in a mountainous area of Chalco.

Mora was Mexico's top cabinet secretaries and a key figure in the country's fight against drug cartels and corruption in the country. Mora had departed from a military base in Mexico for a meeting of prosecutors in Cuernavaca, Morelos.

Ten minuets after takeoff the Aerospatiale Super Puma disappeared from radar. It was reported that the helicopter had undergone maintenance but was under constant guard from the country's equivalent of the Secret Service.

Reports indicate that the four-bladed twin-engine medium size helicopter had departed Mexico City just before 9 PM, a few minutes late due to dense fog, has investigators speculating that visibility was a major factor of the collision. The Aerospatiale Super Puma had rolled out of the Presidential Hangar located at the International Airport of Mexico City about 7:23 PM and taxied to the Campo Militar Marte where passengers boarded. At 8:45 PM, the pilot informed the tower Mexico RF, reporting the Campo Militar Marte takeoff bound for the city of Cuernavaca, Morelos.

Moments later the operators of the Control Center Navigation Services in Mexican Air Space, known as SENEAM, visualize the helicopter on radar departing toward the southeast. At 8:55 PM the helicopter dropped off radar, at that time the weather conditions were layers of clouds at low altitude and reduced visibility. Mexico’s President has requested the assistance from the National Transportation Safety Board.

This is the second time that an interior minister from Mexico has been killed in a plane crash. In 2008, Secretary of the Interior Juan Camilo Mourino and 13 others were killed when their Learjet 45 crashed into an up-scale city street during rush hour in Mexico City just a half mile from the Presidential Residence.

Mora was a key figure in the fight against drugs and advocating Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón's drug policy. Mora was constantly traveling to meet with Mexico’s governors and victims of the drug war. It was also reported Mexico President Felipe Calderón had plans to travel in the helicopter that Mora was killed in, and was awaiting the flight until the accident occurred.

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano said "I was saddened to learn of the crash that took the life of Mexican Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora, along with seven others. Their families are in my thoughts and prayers. Secretary Blake Mora was a strong partner in our common fight against terrorism and transnational crime. His loss will be felt on both sides of the border. President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security remain committed to continuing our close relationship with Mexico in order to enhance the security of both nations."

President Felipe Calderon said under great stress and holding back his emotions said “With deep sorrow, with much pain, I became aware this morning of the fatal accident that killed the interior minister, Jose Francisco Blake Mora, and seven other public servants. José Francisco Blake Mora …, was, above all, a great Mexican, a large Mexican who deeply loved the country, and served until the last moment of his life”.

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