Rafael Moreno Valle, left, and Puebla Gov. Martha Erika Alonso (Reuters)
The newly elected governor of Mexico’s Puebla state and her husband, a federal senator and former governor of the state, were killed Monday in what local media report was a helicopter crash.
Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador has expressed his “deepest condolences” via Twitter to the family of Puebla Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and ex-Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle.
Both victims were members of the conservative National Action Party. Party leader Marko Cortes tweeted: “I deeply regret the fatal accident in which Martha Ericka Alonso, Rafael Moreno Valle and other people lost their lives. May they rest in peace.” Cortes added that the party was “in mourning.”
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Alonso took office as governor less than two weeks ago. Moreno Valle governed the central state from 2011 to 2017 and was currently a federal senator.
The Reforma newspaper reported that the helicopter took off from Puebla’s eponymous capital city and crashed in Huejotzingo, about 20 miles away.
The result of the July vote in which Alonso won office was disputed by Lopez Obrador’s Morena party, which alleged that it was marred by widespread irregularities and manipulated by Moreno Valle in order to hand power to his wife.
But independent electoral authorities upheld the result and she was sworn into office Dec. 14.
Government agencies and officials from former President Enrique Pena Nieto to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum also expressed condolences via statements and social media.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.