Recently sworn-in Puebla, Mexico Governor Martha Erika Alonso dies in helicopter crash
According to BBC, Martha Erika Alonso, the Mexican governor of Pueblo who was recently sworn-in, died in a fiery helicopter crash along with her husband, Senator Rafael Moreno Valle on Monday.Officials speculate that the helicopter may have malfunctioned due to an unspecified failure. The two pilots also died, as did a third passenger.
Alonso had been sworn in as the first female governor of Pueblo after a fierce race against the leftist Morena party, which highlighted the changes in Mexican national politics that culminated in the election of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Morena party, who has promised to transform Mexico into a more equal country.
The aircraft was a privately owned Augusta helicopter that was bound for Mexico City. It lost contact with Mexico City’s air traffic control and lost flight capability approximately ten minutes after takeoff, according to Security Minister Alfonso Durazo. The accident occurred at approximately 2:50 pm in the area of Santa Maria Coronango, near the state capital. Duranzo told BBC, “At this point, there’s no evidence that could lead us to conclude that the cause was not related to how the [helicopter] was functioning.” Obrador expressed his condolences to the families of the two departed politicians in a tweet written in Spanish that translates to: “My deepest condolences to the relatives of Senator Rafael Moreno Valle and his wife, Governor of Puebla Martha Érika Alonso. As an official, I assume the commitment to investigate the causes; tell the truth about what happened and act accordingly.
En lo personal, mi más profundo pésame a los familiares del senador Rafael Moreno Valle y de su esposa, la gobernadora de Puebla Martha Érika Alonso. Como autoridad, asumo el compromiso de investigar las causas; decir la verdad sobre lo sucedido y actuar en consecuencia
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) December 24, 2018
Puebla’s parliament will have to appoint an interim governor to fill Alonso’s seat until a new vote is held. During the election, Alonso’s victory was contested by Obrador’s Morena party, and it had to be confirmed via electoral tribunal. Alonso ran under the center-right PAN party and narrowly defeated Obrador’s favored candidate, Manuel Barbosa. Barbosa spoke to the BBC and called the deaths a “tragedy that no-one wishes to anyone… I am shocked and in mourning. My sympathies to their loved ones. This is not the time to make any speculation.”