Mexico: Interior Minister killed in mysterious chopper crash 3 years after predecessor's death in mysterious plane crash

There's no evidence of foul play in the death today of Mexico's Interior Minister José Francisco Blake, but amid the country's raging drug war, there's plenty of suspicion. The helicopter carrying the country's top domestic security official and seven others crashed in the southern part of Mexico City en route to a meeting of prosecutors in nearby Morelos state. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Blake's death is seen as a symbolic blow to the government's military-directed assault on organized crime. 40,000 Mexicans have died in the drug war over the last five years.

The accident occurred almost exactly three years to the day after Mexico’s previous interior minister Juan Camilo Mouriño was killed in the crash of a small plane, also near Mexico City.

Another mysterious detail: Blake's last tweet before the crash was a nod to the anniversary of his predecessor's death.

Sources: Christian Science Monitor, Guardian, NYT, WaPo, CNN, AP Video, Global Voices.

Reports circulated early today that Mexican president Felipe Calderon had been scheduled to travel in the very same helicopter that crashed, but the administration later issued a statement denying. (via Andrés Monroy H.)

Related reading: the Wikileaks-leaked State Department cable on Mouriño's death, from November 5, 2008. (via Shannon Young)


  1. This is very sad and the timing is very suspicious. Oddly I feel like i’ve seen this embedded in a James Bond movie somewhere along the line.

  2. So, Mexican drug gangs can just off any Mexican law enforcement official, up to and including those in the national government, whenever they want to, and they have had that ability for three years.

    That’s now a thing.

    Mexico is well and truly fucked. I have a feeling our war on drugs is about to become a literal war.

    1. If only we had an army of a couple hundred thousand combat veterans with experience, tactics, and equipment tailored for hot harsh terrain AND urban combat. Oh.

  3. Small aircraft should have warning labels. “If you are susceptible catch a case of Mysterious death by small craft accident you should probably just take the bus”

  4. This tragic accident was also marked by a weird social media event. Twitter user @morf0 (the last character is a zero) “predicted” the death of the government official at least 15 hours before the tragedy, typing on his twitter account “Tomorrow at 11/11 a Secretary of the Interior will fall from the sky… avoid Reforma Avenue”. Since the tragedy, he has gone up from 2,600 followers to more than 23,000. He has also been interviewed  by CNN Español, Univision and several other outlets, always repeating that his twit was just a dark joke that became a reality. In Twitter, people are asking him all kinds of questions, requesting more predictions, and many just poking fun at his newfound fame.

      1. Correct. But in any case, he’s having a ball, twits are flying back and forth in his account, everyone trying to get a reaction from him. A new twitter celebrity, I guess.

  5. An appeal to Prohibitionists:

    Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem. We need to collectively admit that we are sick. — Prohibition is neither a sane nor a safe approach; left unabated, its puritanical flames will surely engulf every last one of us.

    Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, ‘no matter what.’ So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these ‘at present’ illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

    Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with it? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies? 

    Maybe you’re a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you’re scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard skinned gunstocks? 

    Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem! 

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

  6. November 4th, November 11th. The dates are close, but hardly like they are identical.

    Also I think the first crash was proven to be pilot error so not mysterious. “The Learjet was ruled to have been following too close to a Boeing 767-300 jet operated by Mexicana Airlines, and therefore suffered violent wake turbulence caused by the larger jet. ” That was using independent US investigators.

    The latest is mysterious in a sense that it only happened yesterday, and they haven’t had a chance to investigate.

    It’s  unfortunate that two lives have been lost in this way. But different dates, different aircraft…not seeing a huge correlation, myself.

  7. Denise Maerker, a journalist in Mexico, asked the   Mexican metereological service about the weather conditions in the area of the accident and this information was denied because of orders of Los Pinos (the Mexican white house). 

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