Conflict & Justice

Mexican navy says it has found crash site of missing helicopter


A Mexican Federal Police Officer mans his mini-gun aboard a Mexican Federal Police Black Hawk helicopter on patrol June 15, 2012 over San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.



Mexico’s navy says it has found the site where one of its helicopters crashed five days ago with four crew aboard.

According to the Associated Press, the navy announced late Tuesday that the remains of the Panther helicopter had been sighted on top of a mountain in the western state of Jalisco, and that emergency officials are trying to get to the site to see if any of the crew survived and discover what caused the chopper to go down.

According to the BBC, air traffic controllers lost contact with the helicopter 35 minutes after it took off from the Pacific port city of Manzanillo on Friday. It was travelling over Michoacan state at the time, a known stronghold of the country’s Knights Templar drugs gang.

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The navy and army have been at the forefront of the war that Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared on the powerful cartels six years ago, according to EFE news agency.

The navy says Panther helicopters are used for “surveillance, transportation, exploration, search and rescue operations,” and according to the BBC there have been 28 attacks on helicopters since the government launched its clampdown on the gangs. 

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