Mexico doesn’t officially have a “drug czar” the way we have since the Reagan administration. Fighting the drug cartels has become the work of the Secretary of the Interior. On Friday, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior, José Françisco Blake Mora died in a helicopter crash.
He was Mexico’s face of the war on the cartels, President Calderon’s point man in the joint military and law enforcement effort to take down the deadly criminal gangs. He traveled the country pursuing this goal. After 100 bodies were found in pits near the U. S. Border, Blake Mora averred that “Organized crime, in its desperation, resorts to committing atrocities that we can’t and shouldn’t tolerate as a government and as a society.” He promised a five-point initiative for increased scrutiny and investigation, including monitoring of buses, frequently used to transport those who are going to try to sneak across our border.
Blake Mora also oversaw the government’s response to natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes and man-made disasters like the oil pipeline explosion in San Martin Texmelucan last year which killed at least 28 people.
He introduced a new identity card for those under 18 including digitalized fingerprints and retinal scans.
Blake Mora was a lawyer, who started his political career in Tijuana. He was a congressman in Calderon’s National Action Party from 2000 to 2003, a local legislator in the state of Baja California from 2004 to 2007 and named interior secretary there in 2007. In 2010, he accepted the national post.
In November, 2008, Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino died in a plane crash. He too had been deeply involved in the drug war. Once is an accident, twice is a pattern that deserves investigation, and that has been demanded by various politicians in Mexico. President Calderon has stated that he believes the crash was an accident because of foggy conditions. There were eight people in the chopper when it crashed headlong into a hilside outside Mexico City. President Calderon was supposed to have been on the flight. Blake Mora was the fourth Secretary of the Interior under President Calderon. His first, Françisco Ramírez Acuña was fired by Calderon, his second was Mourino and Blake Mora’s predecessor Fernando Françisco Gómez Mont Urueta resigned. Blake Mora’s successor has already been named. The position of Secretary of the Interior is considered the most important cabinet post in Mexico and several have gone on to the Presidency. Blake Mora was expected to be one of them.
Twelve hours before the crash, someone named MorfO tweeted, “Tomorrow on 11/11/11, you’ll have a Secretary falling from the sky…avoid reform.” This tweet is the starting point for the government’s investigation of the crash.
Blake Mora was 45 years old and is survived by his wife, Gloria Cosio. None of his obituaries mentioned children.