People who have blamed the federal government for the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of the governor of Puebla and her senator husband are a “mean” and “neo-fascist” minority, President López Obrador said yesterday.
At his morning press conference, López Obrador rejected accusations that his government was responsible for the Christmas Eve crash in which Governor Martha Érika Alonso, ex-governor Rafael Moreno Valle, a political assistant and two pilots were killed.
“As a matter of principle, we would never act against anybody,” he said.
The president said that his government is fully committed to finding out what caused the crash.
“There is a commitment and willingness of the federal government to know the whole truth. We are not going to hide anything, we have to know what caused this accident and this tragedy,” he said.
“So that there is no suspicion, the government . . . will appeal to an independent body from abroad, recognized and prestigious, to present a conclusion that we are going to make public to the people of Mexico.”
The Security Secretariat (SSPC) said in a statement issued later yesterday that the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, a government agency, would send two aeronautical experts to Mexico to participate in the investigation into the accident.
Jimmy Cancino, a civil aviation expert with more than 25 years’ experience, and Nora Vallée, a helicopter pilot with more than 30 years’ experience, will arrive at the Puebla airport today and start work tomorrow morning, the SSPC said.
Other aviation experts, including representatives of the Italian company that manufactured the Agusta A109 helicopter and engine-makers Pratt & Whitney, have already examined the crash site, located in the Puebla municipality of Coronango.
The government said on Tuesday that the investigation had not found any sign of explosive material on the aircraft, which hit the ground nose first. A witness said it was on fire before it crashed.
López Obrador also responded to questions about his absence at the funeral for Alonso and Moreno. He told reporters it was an act of prudence within the context of an atmosphere of hostility towards his government that has been created by its critics.
“I don’t like to beat around the bush . . . Yesterday [Tuesday] there was an [adverse] environment that the usual conservatives created, not all of them, but a minority who acted in a very mean way . . . They’re neo-fascist groups who are very angry about the triumph of our movement . . . They act anonymously, especially on social media,” he said.
“The right, the conservatives, in addition to hypocrisy and being very corrupt, are also mean. On social networks, they started to talk about the liability of the government I represent . . .” López Obrador added.
He called for people to calm down and to avoid speculating about the cause of the crash as the investigation takes place.
The president said that he had spoken to Moreno’s father to offer his condolences but that he hadn’t been in contact with Alonso’s family.
Federal Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez and Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo represented the government at the political power couple’s funeral, which took place in Puebla city on Christmas Day.
Alonso, 45, was sworn in as National Action Party (PAN) governor just 10 days before her death.
Her July 1 election victory was contested by her Morena party opponent, Miguel Barbosa Huerta, and other party officials, who alleged that the vote was plagued by irregularities. However, the Federal Electoral Tribunal ratified Alonso’s victory in a decision on December 9.
Moreno, who governed Puebla from 2011 to 2017, was accused of manipulating the poll in order to secure the governorship for his wife.