Sunday, June 16, 2024

Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa dies at 63

Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa Huerta has died of natural causes in a Mexico City hospital at 63 years old. He passed away Tuesday afternoon after apparently suffering from a heart attack over the weekend.

Barbosa had suffered from diabetes-related complications for several years. He canceled multiple events early in the week due to feeling unwell, and on Tuesday afternoon was transported to the National Institute of Cardiology in the country’s capital, where he was being treated for a heart attack.

Around 12 p.m. central time, the government of Puebla announced on Twitter that Barbosa was under medical observation and was “stable and without complications.” But shortly after 3 p.m., the state chief of communication, Verónica Vélez Macuil, announced the governor had died.

He was expected to deliver his fourth annual government report on Wednesday.

“I just spoke with his wife, Rosario [Orozco Caballero|. I express my sadness and extend my deepest condolences to family, friends and his people,” President López Obrador wrote on Twitter.

Born in Puebla in 1959, Barbosa was first a member of the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) before joining the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 2000 and the Senate in 2012. He resigned from the PRD in 2017, when he joined Morena.

He began his term as the governor of Puebla on Aug. 1, 2019, following special elections due to the death of former Governor Martha Érika Alonso of the National Action Party (PAN) in a helicopter crash. She died alongside her husband, Rafael Moreno Valle, who was the state governor from 2011 to 2017. The accident occurred only 10 days after she took office.

Barbosa took office after former governor Martha Érika Alonso and her husband, ex-governor of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, died in a helicopter crash.
Barbosa took office after former governor Martha Érika Alonso and her husband, ex-governor of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas, died in a helicopter crash. (File photo)

Barbosa lost the 2018 gubernatorial election to Alonso by a slim margin in an election Morena alleged was marked by electoral fraud. The helicopter crash raised suspicions of sabotage, although a federal investigation concluded that there was no evidence proving this claim.

The state government organized several tributes to Barbosa around the state.

Barbosa served as the state governor for three years and three months. According to Puebla’s constitution, the State Congress must select a replacement if a governor’s death occurs within the final four years of the term. State Governance Minister Ana Lucía Hill (Morena) was named interim governor until a new governor is chosen. The replacement will remain in the post until 2025, the designated end of the current term.

With reports from Excelsior, La Jornada, and Reforma

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