Tragedy for Puebla political dynasty: Martha Erika Alonso [right] governor of Mexico’s state of Puebla was killed in a helicopter crash Monday alongside her husband, Sen. Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas [left]
A Mexican husband-and-wife political power couple have died in a Christmas Eve helicopter crash, officials announced.
The newly sworn-in governor of the central Mexican state of Puebla, Martha Erika Alonso, was killed alongside her senator husband Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, when the aircraft went down in the small city of Huejotzingo on Monday afternoon.
Both pilots and a third passenger were also killed, in the December 24 crash
Alonso, 45, had only been sworn into office ten days ago after independent electoral authorities dismissed a challenge of her electoral victory.
Meanwhile her husband Valle was also the former Puebla governor and a prominent figure in the opposition National Action Party who had vied unsuccessfully for the party’s presidential nomination and its internal leadership. The couple who shared a dog, did not appear to have children.
Puebla governor Martha Erika Alonso [right] became governor amid electoral controversy two weeks ago. Her husband, Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas [left], now a senator, who was governor before her, also perished in Monday’s crash
The helicopter pilot and co-pilot have been identified as Captain Roberto Cope Obregon and Captain Marco Antonio Cabera Romero, according to Public Security and Civil Protection Secretary Alfonso Durazo.
The other passenger has not yet been named.
Mexican Civil Aviation authorities are investigating the cause.
Both federal and state officials said they had opened investigations into the cause. The potentially sensitive investigation requires careful handling because President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s Morena party had challenged the validity of Alonso’s election in July.
Ultimately she was sworn in 12 days ago after independent electoral authorities dismissed the challenge.
State spokesman Maximiliano Cortazar demanded a ‘transparent, impartial and independent’ investigation.
Leftist Barbosa said in an interview with Milenio, that it’s a tragedy and ‘it is up to the authorities to do the same so that the causes of the accident are perfectly clear,’ Animal Politico reported.
The reported he declined to answer what would happen now the pair are gone: “It is not the time to make political comments, it is time for solidarity, beyond the political rivalry that I had with both,” he reportedly said.
“I do not want to give an opinion on the succession, it’s time to be supportive”.
The cause of the accident was still unknown on Monday night
Emergency rescue personnel, the army and the police arrived to the scene of the crash in Puebla, Mexico
Federal electoral institute official Benito Nacif confirmed it would happen.
The fact the accident occurred just days after Alonso – who celebrated her birthday only one week ago – took office triggered speculation of foul play on social media, Reuters reported.
A number of Mexican politicians have died in aircraft accidents in the past few years, including federal interior ministers in 2008 and 2011.
Both were members of the PAN.
BBC News reported that 13 people died earlier this year when a minister’s helicopter crashed into a crowd. The minister survived.
From 2015, Puebla First Lady Alonso became second in the power structure of the party behind her husband.Moreno Valle was the grandson of Rafael Moreno Valle, a doctor and politician who also served as the Governor of Puebla from 1969 to 1972
Moreno became a federal senator in September. He shared the same name as his father who was Governor of Puebla from 1969 to 1972.
The couple married in 2004, celebrated their 14th anniversary this January.