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Press Releases 08

United States Assisting in Investigation of Tragic Crash

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, November 5, 2008 - “I awoke this morning, reflecting on the tragic crash last night that took the lives of Secretary of Government Juan Camilo Mourino, former SIEDO head Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, our former colleague at SRE Miguel Monterrubio – whom I knew personally – and so many other victims. My heart truly goes out to their families, and I offer my solidarity and sympathy in these trying moments.

“This is a tragic loss for Mexico. I have had the honor of knowing and working with these excellent men on many important facets of our bilateral relationship. I have always admired the dedication and intelligence of Juan Camilo Mourino. I have the greatest respect for the sheer bravery of Santiago Vasconcelos. I remember well the friendly collegiality of Miguel Monterrubio. Their loss will rightly be mourned by the whole nation.

“Part of grieving is the desire to know exactly what happened. It is important to reserve judgment on the cause of the crash until investigations are completed. At the invitation of the Mexican government, the United States will do all it can to assist in the investigation that Mexican authorities immediately initiated into this tragic accident. Two Federal Aviation Administration investigators here in Mexico on other business were called to the scene last night and are working closely with Mexican investigators. A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived this morning from Washington, D.C., and will coordinate with the Mexicans leading the investigation to support them however they can. They will be further supported by the United States’ best evidence analysts, the Washington-based Evidence Response Team, which was recently involved in the investigation of a Lear jet crash in South Carolina.

“I would ask that we all hold in our thoughts and in our prayers all the victims of this terrible accident, both those aboard the plane and those killed and injured on the ground. Today we not only mourn the loss of our friends and colleagues, but stand in solidarity with the Mexican people.”

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