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World & Nation

Helicopter crash kills governor and ex-governor of Puebla, Mexico, officials say

Governor of Puebla and her husband die in helicopter crash, Mexico - 24 Dec 2018
Authorities on Monday investigate the crash site where Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and her husband, ex-Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, were killed in Puebla state.
(Hilda Rios /EPA-EFE/REX)

A helicopter crash Monday took the lives of the governor of Mexico’s south-central Puebla state and her husband, a federal senator and former state governor, authorities said.

In a pair of Twitter messages, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed the deaths of Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and Sen. Rafael Moreno and vowed an investigation into what he called an accident.

“Personally, my deepest condolences to the families” of the dead, he wrote. “I take on the commitment to investigate the causes, tell the truth about what happened and to act accordingly.”

No further information was available on the cause of the crash, which, according to accounts in the Mexican media, occurred in a rural area of the state after the helicopter took off from the city of Puebla, the state capital.

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There was no definitive word on the fate of the pilot or another passenger reportedly on board.

An electoral tribunal certified Alonso as the governor of Puebla this month after rejecting challenges to her disputed election in July 1 balloting.

The gubernatorial candidate of the National Generation Movement, known as Morena, had alleged widespread irregularities. Morena is the political bloc founded by Lopez Obrador.

Both Alonso and her husband were members of the National Action Party, a center-right opposition bloc.

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Mexico’s Puebla state is home to more than 6.1 million people, according to an official estimate from 2015, making it the fifth most populous Mexican state.

Sánchez is a special correspondent. Times staff writer Patrick J. McDonnell contributed from Rome.


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