Nov 4th: a night of highs and lows
That kind of fuss is a daily occurrence here in Distrito Federal. But, as I bit into my first mini-hamburger of the night twenty-minutes later, a recently-arriving guest informed me that a plane had come down. On Paseo de la Reforma. In it had been Mexico’s Interior Minister Juan Camilo MouriÃ±o, who is roughly speaking the second-most important politician in Mexico after President Felipe Calderon himself.
I had a weird sense of deja-vu, and flashed back to September 11th of the year 2001, when I was on a plane traveling to San Francisco for a conference. We got as far as Edmonton, Canada, when the plane landed – apparently for refueling. The other journalists I was traveling with started talking about how a plane had flown into the World Trade Center in New York, and I remember thinking that it must have been a flying accident. Not so.
Last night, I turned to the internet. Both El Universal and Reforma were carrying pictures of burning cars silhouetting firefighters and onlookers. I made a call to the office. They were on it. But as we settled down to discuss the results of the elections, I couldn’t help feeling that we were following the wrong story.
This morning, most of the national newspapers are carrying dozens of tributes to those who died in yesterday’s plane crash from people around the country. Along with MouriÃ±o, JosÃ© Luis Santiago Vasconcelos (a presidential advisor who formerly headed the organized-crime unit in the federal attorney general’s office) , Miguel Monterrubio, Arcadio EcheverrÃa, Norma DÃaz, Captain Julio CÃ©sar RamÃrez DÃ¡valos, co-pilot Ãlvaro SÃ¡nchez and flight attendant Gisel Carrillo also died. El Universal reports that another four people died – presumably they were nearby when the plane hit.
As yet, it looks like it was an accident. The entire plane came down – there was no bomb, no explosion. But of course, this is Mexico – things can change, and that includes versions of the truth.