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Mexican governor and her senator husband killed in helicopter crash on Christmas eve

A Mexican governor and her senator husband died in a helicopter crash in the centre of the country on Monday. 

Martha Erika Alonso, a senior opposition figure and new governor of the central state of Puebla, died with Rafael Moreno, a senator and the former governor of the same state, when their helicopter came down not far from the state capital of Puebla city.  

“I said hello to (Moreno) in the Senate just a few days ago. Those of us who had the opportunity to know them are sad and troubled,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter, confirming the deaths of the couple.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Twitter that his government would investigate the accident.  It was unclear if the pilot died or what had caused the crash.

Alonso, from the centre-right National Action Party (PAN), took office earlier this month after a local election that was hotly contested with Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA. An electoral tribunal had to validate the results months after the vote amid accusations of fraud.  

Moreno was governor of Puebla between 2011 and 2017 and headed the PAN in the Senate.  A number of Mexican politicians have died in aircraft accidents in the past few years, including federal interior ministers in 2008 and 2011. The latter two were also members of the PAN.

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