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New Mexico interior minister named after deadly crash

  • Story Highlights
  • Fernando Francisco Gomez Mont becomes Mexico's new interior minister
  • Gomez Mont succeeds Juan Camilo Mourino, who died in a plane crash last week
  • Interior minister is Mexico's second-most powerful post
  • Mexican authorities say there's no indication foul play was involved in air crash
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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- President Felipe Calderon named Fernando Francisco Gomez Mont as his new interior minister Monday to replace the Cabinet member who died in a plane crash last week.

Gomez Mont is a little-known lawyer who the Mexican president said would push forward justice and security reforms.

"I am convinced," Calderon said in a nationally televised speech, "that Fernando Francisco Gomez Mont has the necessary credentials and experience to carry out the high duties that he has been given."

Gomez Mont succeeds Juan Camilo Mourino, who died Tuesday when a government Learjet 45 crashed in Mexico City. All eight people onboard were killed as were at least five on the ground.

In Mexico, the interior minister oversees domestic affairs, particularly national security, law enforcement and the war on drugs. It is Mexico's second-most powerful post.

Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, a former deputy attorney general, also died in the crash. He and Mourino had been instrumental in the war on drugs, and there has been widespread speculation among Mexicans that drug lords orchestrated the crash.

Mexican authorities have said there is no indication that foul play was involved.

Speaking at a joint news conference Monday afternoon with Colombian President Albaro Uribe, the Mexican president reiterated that the investigation into the crash will be complete, thorough and transparent.

"The Mexican government does not have even the slightest interest nor the slightest intent of hiding absolutely anything," Calderon said. "To the contrary, I want that the truth be known and I want to know it myself."

Calderon and Mourino were close friends, and the president is said to have deeply felt the loss.

Calderon said he has told his new minister to continue negotiations and dialogue with the nation's various political factions and to carry out accords that will benefit all of Mexico.

At his previous news conference on the Cabinet appointment, Calderon said he has told his new minister to continue negotiations and dialogue with the nation's various political factions, and to carry out accords that will benefit all of Mexico.

He also said he has instructed Gomez Mont to make sure to keep organized crime out of the political process.

Gomez Mont has held several federal posts and was a member of the executive committee of Calderon's National Action Party, or PAN.

He is the youngest of Felipe Gomez Mont's 13 children, the new minister's official government biography says. The elder Gomez Mont, now deceased, was one of PAN's founders, the biography says.

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