Mexico governor killed in air crash

Martha Erika Alonso speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in Puebla state, Mexico. Photo: 14 December 2018Image copyright

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Martha Erika Alonso was sworn in as Puebla’s governor 10 days before the crash

The governor of Mexico’s central Puebla state, Martha Erika Alonso, has died in an air crash, just days after being sworn into office.

Her husband, Senator Rafael Moreno Valle, was also killed.

Reports say Monday’s accident happened shortly after the aircraft – believed to be a helicopter – took off from the state capital of Puebla.

Ms Alonso, 45, became the first female governor of Puebla after hotly contested elections.

She was a member of the centre-right PAN party.

The deaths were confirmed by Mexico’s new President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In a tweet (in Spanish), President López Obrador expressed “deepest condolences” to the relatives of the two politicians.

He said an investigation would be launched to establish “the truth” about what caused the crash.

It was not immediately known whether the pilot was also killed in the accident near Puebla, Mexico’s second largest city.

Ms Alonso had taken office on 14 December, narrowly beating Manuel Barbosa, President López Obrador’s favoured candidate for the governorship of one of Mexico’s most populous states.

Mr Barbosa said the deaths of Ms Alonso and Mr Moreno Valle was 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,” Mr Barbosa added.

Mr Moreno Valle also served as Puebla’s governor between 2011 and 2017.

Monday’s accident comes after a number of high-profile deaths in helicopter crashes over the years in Mexico, including Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora in 2011, the BBC’s Will Grant reports.

Earlier this year, 13 people died when a minister’s helicopter crashed into a crowd, although the minister himself survived, our correspondent says.

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