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  Mexico's Drug War Goes Down in Flames
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ContributorCraverguy 
Last EditedCraverguy  Dec 02, 2008 11:43pm
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News DateWednesday, December 3, 2008 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe fiery November 4 crash of a private Lear jet here not a mile from Los Pinos, the Mexican White House, that killed President Felipe Calderon's closest collaborator Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino was largely buried by the U.S. press, coming as it did on Election Day USA.

As Interior Secretary responsible for internal security, Mourino who had just met with outgoing U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to map out bi-lateral drug war strategies, was the second most powerful official in Mexico.

Also killed in the crash that took a total of 19 lives was Mexico's former drug czar Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcellos, himself a frequent assassination target for Mexican drug gangs. Last spring Vasconcellos was replaced as top dog at the SIEDO ("Sub-prosecutor for Special Investigations into Organized Crime") which he had directed for eight years and appointed special drug war advisor to Calderon.

Despite public incredulity the Calderon administration has fought hard to spin the plane crash as an accident, pinning the mishap on the inexperience of the pilot and co-pilot of the privately owned Lear Jet, both of whom were killed on impact. Transportation Secretary Luis Tello has held serial press conferences presenting the black box retrieved from the crash and flogging expert testimony from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Aeronautics Administration. The bamboozlement campaign has been accompanied by a burst of government-bought print ads and electronic spots that are designed to boost the president's credibility as the second anniversary of his chaotic swearing in approaches.
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