Mexico: Helicopter carrying top official lost

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO | November 11, 2011 | 2:00 PM EST

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government said Friday that the country's top Cabinet secretary, Francisco Blake Mora, has died in a helicopter crash with seven others, including the pilot.

Presidential spokeswoman Alejandra Sota said that Interior Secretary Blake Mora was traveling to a prosecutors meeting in the neighboring state of Morelos when the helicopter went down in southern Mexico City.

The secretary of the interior is the country's top official after the president, overseeing internal political affairs and security.

Francisco Blake Mora was appointed secretary in July 2010. President Felipe Calderon lost another interior secretary, Juan Camilo Mourino, in a plane crash in Mexico City in November 2008.

Blake Mora, 45, started his political career in the mid-1990s as an official in his native Tijuana and served as a federal congressman through the 2000s.

Calderon appointed him as interior secretary in July 2010.