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Thread: Mexico Tries to Curb Plane Crash Rumors

  1. #1
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    Mexico Tries to Curb Plane Crash Rumors

    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/world/americas/06mexico.html?ex=1383714000&en=f62f6c6e710b96b6&ei=5124&partner=facebook&exprod=facebook[/url]

    MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials tried to rein in speculation that swirled Wednesday over the cause of a plane crash on Tuesday evening that killed the interior minister and a former prosecutor who once led the fight against the country’s violent drug cartels.

    The authorities said the crash appeared to have been an accident and they promised a thorough investigation. Officials took unusual actions to head off speculation that the plane had been sabotaged, including releasing radar images of the small jet’s final moments and recordings of the pilot’s last communications with air traffic controllers.

    The interior minister, Juan Camilo Mouriño, was among nine people aboard the Lear jet when it suddenly spun out of control and slammed into evening rush-hour traffic in an upscale business district here. Everyone on the government plane and at least five people on the ground were killed. About 40 people were injured and 16 remained in hospitals on Wednesday.

    Mr. Mouriño, 37, was Mexico’s top security official. His death comes as the government is waging a war on drug trafficking that has provoked a bloody response from the cartels. Gunmen have assassinated police chiefs, mayors and soldiers.

    Another passenger on the airplane was José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, who had long been involved in fighting the drug cartels. As the director of the organized crime unit in the attorney general’s office earlier this decade, he oversaw the extradition of drug lords to the United States. The authorities said that there was no sign that the crash had been caused by foul play.

    “Up to now, no indications have been detected that would allow us to form any hypothesis different from those of an accident, but the investigation will continue until all possibilities are exhausted,” Luis Téllez, the communications and transportation minister, said at a news conference.

    But as rumors surfaced on media Web sites throughout the day, officials tried to head them off. The radar images and recordings released by aviation officials indicated what appeared to be a routine landing approach. To the sound of the exchange between controller and pilot, the dots on the radar showed the jet and other planes preparing for their approach to Mexico City’s airport, moving on their planned course. Then suddenly, with no warning from the pilot, the jet disappeared from the radar. The controller asked for a response from the plane and heard nothing.

    Mr. Téllez said that President Felipe Calderón had ordered the extraordinary release of the radar images and the recordings. In a country where a long history of government secrecy has allowed conspiracy theories to quickly become conventional wisdom, Mr. Calderón’s administration wanted to offer assurance that the investigation would be transparent.

    In response to questions, Mr. Téllez dismissed speculation that the plane was too old to fly, that it was too close to a commercial jet that was in front of it and that the pilot had veered off course and made an emergency call. Mr. Téllez called for patience, recalling that it took a month and a half to investigate a Spanair crash at the Madrid airport in August.

    But few Mexicans seemed confident that the government would tell the truth about the cause of the crash. “Look, in the past the government has covered up things this big, and I don’t doubt that they will this time,” said Rocío Flores, 33, a student. “If the narcos killed Mouriño and the other guy, the truth is, who knows if the people will find out.”

    United States investigators have been called in to help. Two investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration who were already in Mexico on other business began working at the crash site on Tuesday night. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a three-person team, and analysts from a specialized evidence team will also help, the United States Embassy said.

    Britain sent three investigators, and Learjet sent its own team.

    The government was clearly worried about how the speculation would affect Mexico’s financial markets, already weakened by the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Agustín Carstens made the rounds of morning radio shows to argue that Mr. Mouriño’s death should not have any effect on the markets.

    Mr. Mouriño was one of Mr. Calderón’s closest friends and political collaborators. He ran Mr. Calderón’s 2006 presidential campaign, became chief of staff and took over the Interior Ministry in January. As minister, he was Mexico’s top security official.

    Marc Lacey contributed reporting.




    If anybody cares to comment....

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE=JetMex;2845571][url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/world/americas/06mexico.html?ex=1383714000&en=f62f6c6e710b96b6&ei=5124&partner=facebook&exprod=facebook[/url]

    MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials tried to rein in speculation that swirled Wednesday over the cause of a plane crash on Tuesday evening that killed the interior minister and a former prosecutor who once led the fight against the country’s violent drug cartels.

    The authorities said the crash appeared to have been an accident and they promised a thorough investigation. Officials took unusual actions to head off speculation that the plane had been sabotaged, including releasing radar images of the small jet’s final moments and recordings of the pilot’s last communications with air traffic controllers.

    The interior minister, Juan Camilo Mouriño, was among nine people aboard the Lear jet when it suddenly spun out of control and slammed into evening rush-hour traffic in an upscale business district here. Everyone on the government plane and at least five people on the ground were killed. About 40 people were injured and 16 remained in hospitals on Wednesday.

    Mr. Mouriño, 37, was Mexico’s top security official. His death comes as the government is waging a war on drug trafficking that has provoked a bloody response from the cartels. Gunmen have assassinated police chiefs, mayors and soldiers.

    Another passenger on the airplane was José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, who had long been involved in fighting the drug cartels. As the director of the organized crime unit in the attorney general’s office earlier this decade, he oversaw the extradition of drug lords to the United States. The authorities said that there was no sign that the crash had been caused by foul play.

    “Up to now, no indications have been detected that would allow us to form any hypothesis different from those of an accident, but the investigation will continue until all possibilities are exhausted,” Luis Téllez, the communications and transportation minister, said at a news conference.

    But as rumors surfaced on media Web sites throughout the day, officials tried to head them off. The radar images and recordings released by aviation officials indicated what appeared to be a routine landing approach. To the sound of the exchange between controller and pilot, the dots on the radar showed the jet and other planes preparing for their approach to Mexico City’s airport, moving on their planned course. Then suddenly, with no warning from the pilot, the jet disappeared from the radar. The controller asked for a response from the plane and heard nothing.

    Mr. Téllez said that President Felipe Calderón had ordered the extraordinary release of the radar images and the recordings. In a country where a long history of government secrecy has allowed conspiracy theories to quickly become conventional wisdom, Mr. Calderón’s administration wanted to offer assurance that the investigation would be transparent.

    In response to questions, Mr. Téllez dismissed speculation that the plane was too old to fly, that it was too close to a commercial jet that was in front of it and that the pilot had veered off course and made an emergency call. Mr. Téllez called for patience, recalling that it took a month and a half to investigate a Spanair crash at the Madrid airport in August.

    But few Mexicans seemed confident that the government would tell the truth about the cause of the crash. “Look, in the past the government has covered up things this big, and I don’t doubt that they will this time,” said Rocío Flores, 33, a student. “If the narcos killed Mouriño and the other guy, the truth is, who knows if the people will find out.”

    United States investigators have been called in to help. Two investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration who were already in Mexico on other business began working at the crash site on Tuesday night. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a three-person team, and analysts from a specialized evidence team will also help, the United States Embassy said.

    Britain sent three investigators, and Learjet sent its own team.

    The government was clearly worried about how the speculation would affect Mexico’s financial markets, already weakened by the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Agustín Carstens made the rounds of morning radio shows to argue that Mr. Mouriño’s death should not have any effect on the markets.

    Mr. Mouriño was one of Mr. Calderón’s closest friends and political collaborators. He ran Mr. Calderón’s 2006 presidential campaign, became chief of staff and took over the Interior Ministry in January. As minister, he was Mexico’s top security official.

    Marc Lacey contributed reporting.




    If anybody cares to comment....[/QUOTE]


    Because of the Iraq war, the bad economy, the election and lots of other news, many in the U.S. have lost focus on the major drug war raging in Mexico. It is as bad as it's ever been and a bad economy in North America only makes it worse.

    With so many other issues commanding the attention of the President-elect, this will be low on the priority list unfortunately. But, it's getting worse and needs to be addressed. The economy, the border, drug wars and illegal immigration are all tied together. We need to get much tougher on this stuff. Drug cartels are incredibly capable and sophisticated these days. Their operations are executed with almost military precision.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=jetstream23;2845607]Because of the Iraq war, the bad economy, the election and lots of other news, many in the U.S. have lost focus on the major drug war raging in Mexico. It is as bad as it's ever been and a bad economy in North America only makes it worse.

    With so many other issues commanding the attention of the President-elect, this will be low on the priority list unfortunately. But, it's getting worse and needs to be addressed. The economy, the border, drug wars and illegal immigration are all tied together. We need to get much tougher on this stuff. Drug cartels are incredibly capable and sophisticated these days. Their operations are executed with almost military precision.[/QUOTE]

    Mexico is well aware that the problems south of the border are on very low priority in The U.S. Agenda. Hopefully things settle down a bit in The U.S. (economy, Iraq,etc.) and we can take care of this issues, that, like it or not, affect both countries....

  4. #4
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    I just assumed it was because it was a plane built in Mexico.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Guido Monzino;2845702]I just assumed it was because it was a plane built in Mexico.[/QUOTE]

    :)

    It was a jetlear, I dont think we are able to build those things....

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