Mexican interior minister Francisco Blake was killed in a helicopter crash on Friday, a blow to the government as it fights powerful drug cartels.
Television images showed the scattered wreckage of the helicopter on a hillside south of the capital, and the government confirmed that Blake and all others on board were killed. It did not say what caused the crash.
Mexico is locked in a brutal conflict against drug cartels that has killed 45,000 people in the last five years and Blake is a key member of President Felipe Calderon's security team.
He is the second Mexican interior minister in Calderon's presidency to be killed in an aviation accident.
On November 4 2008, Juan Camilo Mourino and several other people died when their small plane crashed next to a major Mexico City boulevard during rush hour.
Investigators concluded that Mourino's plane had been flying too close to a much bigger jet plane ahead of it on the flight path to land at Mexico City airport, possibly causing a fatal wave of turbulence.
Blake took office in July 2010, the fourth man to serve as interior minister under Calderon.
The last tweet on Blake's twitter account was on November 4, when he paid tribute to Mourino.
"Today we remember Juan Camilo Mourino three years after his passing, a human being who worked towards the creation of a better Mexico," Blake said.