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Mexican president confirms death of state governor in helicopter crash

Authorities investigate the area where the remains of the helicopter carrying Governor of Puebla Martha Erika Alonso, and her husband, ex-governor of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle, in Puebla, Mexico, Dec. 24, 2018. EPA-EFE/HILDA RIOS

Authorities investigate the area where the remains of the helicopter carrying Governor of Puebla Martha Erika Alonso, and her husband, ex-governor of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle, in Puebla, Mexico, Dec. 24, 2018. EPA-EFE/HILDA RIOS

EFE

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday confirmed the deaths in a helicopter crash of Puebla state Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and her husband, former Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, and expressed his condolences to their relatives.

“Personally, my deepest condolences to the relatives of Sen. Rafael Moreno Valle and his wife, Puebla Gov. Martha Erika Alonso. As president, I take on the commitment to investigate the causes (of the crash); tell the truth about what happened and to act accordingly,” wrote the president on his Twitter account.

Earlier in the evening, Lopez Obrador had reported the crash but said only that it was possible that the couple had died.

“I’m receiving information about an accident in Puebla, the crash of a helicopter. Still to be confirmed is that it was Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and ex-Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle. I have ordered the entire government to act immediately” on the matter, said Lopez Obrador on his Twitter account.

Numerous political figures have also expressed their condolences over the deaths of the couple, who were with the conservative National Action Party (PAN).

Senate President Marti Batres had said earlier - before the official confirmation of Alonso and Moreno Valle’s deaths - that he was dismayed over the situation.

“I express my dismay over the possible deaths of ... the governor of Puebla and my Senate colleague,” he said.

According to preliminary reporting the helicopter crashed in croplands between the towns of Juan C. Bonilla and Tlaltenango.

Moreno Valle governed Puebla from 2010-2016 and was serving as a national senator, and Alonso took over the governorship on Dec. 14 after a five-month election controversy during which the results of the vote were up in the air.


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