Mexican Government Secretary (Secretary of the Interior) Blake has died at the age of 45, after the helicopter carrying him and other 7 Mexican officials crashed near Mexico City this morning. Official reports indicate no survivors were found.
The helicopter was travelling to Cuernavaca (south from Mexico City); Blake and one of his undersecretaries were flying to a State meeting with judges and prosecutors.
José Francisco Blake Mora was appointed Secretary in July, 2010. He was President Calderon’s fourth Government Secretary and he is the second one in such position who has died in an air crash. In November 2008, Juan Camilo Mouriño (Government Secretary at that time) died in a plane crash in Mexico City.
Felipe de Jesús Zamora Castro, Undersecretary of Legal Matters and Human Rights was also killed in the crash, along with members of the Mexican Air Force and Military forces.
According to Associated Press, the late Secretary Blake was the point man in Mexico’s deadly war on organized crime, seen by many as the embodiment of the government’s determination to battle the narcotics trade despite a soaring death toll. However it is imperative that we remember Mr. Blake was not the head of any police corporation and he was not involved in prosecution tasks whatsoever.
Juan Marcos Gutiérrez is now acting Government Secretary, although it is likely a new Secretary will be appointed by President Calderon in the next couple of weeks.
More than 45,000 people are reported to have died from drug-related violence since President Calderon sent in the army to help combat the cartels in 2006.
November 11th, 2011.