Mexico's Top Defender Against Drug Cartels Dies in a Helicopter Crash

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There are no survivors after a helicopter carrying seven Mexican officials and a pilot crashed into a hillside just south of the country's capital. On board was Interior Minister Francisco Blake, "a key member of President Felipe Calderon's security team," according to Reuters who says his death serves as a "blow to the government as it fights powerful drug cartels." The Associated Press explains further:

Blake Mora was Calderon's point man in the government's war against organized crime, frequently traveling to the country's most dangerous places for meetings with besieged state and local security officials.

He was an embodiment of the Mexican government's get-tough attitude on drug dealing, publicly pledging to bring the fight to the traffickers instead of backing down.

The deadly crash comes almost exactly three years after a small plane carrying Blake's predecessor, Juan Camilo Mourino, crashed near a Mexico City boulevard, killing everyone on board and at least six on the ground. The cause of the crash that killed Blake is so far unclear.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.