LT-Mexico-PlaneCrash 5thLd-Writethru 11-05 Web

Foul play unlikely in crash

A conversation between pilots and the control tower gave no hint that anything was wrong moments before a plane carrying Mexico’s second-most-powerful official suddenly dived into rush-hour traffic.

The death of Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino was a serious setback for Mexico’s U.S.-backed fight against drug smuggling. He was President Felipe Calderon’s most trusted confidante as the government pursues a hardline strategy that has brought down top drug kingpins but has fueled brutal violence in Mexico.

Authorities said Wednesday that the crash, which killed 14 people in all, was mostly likely an accident. But they brought in U.S. and British investigators to help them rule out the possibility of an attack.

But the lack of evidence didn’t stop Mexicans from blaming drug cartels, which have killed several top officials in recent months. That speculation contributed to a 1.3 percent drop of Mexico’s peso Wednesday.

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