Mexico's Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora, who was the country’s top security official in charge of the fight against drug cartels, was killed in a helicopter crash Friday.
Government representative Alejandra Sota said: “Unfortunately, the interior secretary, his collaborators, and the helicopter crew were found dead.” Mexican officials said the helicopter crashed on its way from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, where Mora had a meeting scheduled with prosecutors.
The bodies of the victims, which inluded Mora, a ministry spokesman, three other ministry employees, and three members of the Mexican Air Force, were not visible.
President Felipe Calderon appointed Mora as interior secretary in July of last year with a brief that included improving security and cracking down on widespread violence. The interior secretary is Mexico’s second most senior official after the president, overseeing internal political affairs and security, making him a key figure in the battle against drugs.
Mora’s death came exactly one week after he attended a memorial ceremony for his predecessor, Juan Camilo Mourino, who was killed in a small airplane crash in November 2008. Investigators of that crash found the pilot of the minister’s small government jet lost control after flying too close to the wake of a jumbo jet.
After the memorial, Mora had sent a message on Twitter, which read: “Today we remember Juan Camilo Mourino, three years on from his death, a human being who worked on building a better Mexico.”