UPDATED: “No Survivors” In Crashed Plane; Banda Star Jenni Rivera Presumed Dead

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UPDATED 3:25PM | Mexico’s Secretary of Communication and Transportation Gerardo Ruíz says that they have reached the wreckage and there does not appear to be any survivors, though he has not confirmed Rivera’s death. “Sí hacen suponer, las evidencias, que se trata del avión en el que viajaba la cantante Jenni Rivera,” he told Milenio Televisión. Loosely translated, he says that all evidence points to the fact that the plane found with no survivors was that of Rivera. 

Because of the way that the plane broke apart, authorities are unable to immediately identify the registration of the aircraft or confirm that it is the one that was carrying Rivera, two pilots and three other passengers. Officials saying that “all indications” is that this is the correct plane and tha there are no survivors has led many news outlets have confirmed the singer’s death. We are still waiting on official confirmation.

UPDATED 3:05PM | The mayor of Iturbide, a city in the state of Nueva Leon in Mexico has confirmed that a resident searching for animals in the rural area outside of town found the remains of the plane believed to be the one carrying Jenni Rivera and six others. There has been no official word on the state of the passengers, but several members of the search party are updating Twitter with photos of the area, including clothing draped over trees near the site of the crash.

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photo via @joelsampayoc

ORIGINAL 2:05PM | Long Beach native and Mexican regional-music superstar Jenni Rivera was aboard an airplane that disappeared from radar in Mexico early Sunday morning. The plane is believed to have crashed somewhere in Northern Mexico, though authorities have not yet located it or its passengers.

According to a statement released in Mexico City by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, a Learjet carrying Rivera and six others departed the airport in Monterrey after a concert at about 3:15AM, but lost contact with air traffic controllers about 10 minutes into the flight. It was scheduled to arrive at an airport just outside of Mexico City an hour later, but never showed. 

A search for the plane was launched early Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

Rivera, 43, is a Long Beach native whose records dominate the banda style of regional Mexican music popular in California and northwestern Mexico. Raised by a musical family in Central and North Long Beach, dad Pedro started Cintas Acuario, one of the first American-based record labels dedicated to releasing corridos–a growing cadre of popular songs that spawned from the Mexican-American border culture.

Pedro was the original producer of narcocorrido (corridos about the violent drug trade) star Chalino Sanchez and Jenni’s brother Lupillo eventually became a Long Beach-representing narcocorrido superstar in his own right. After earning a college degree, becoming a successful real estate agent and ending a tumultuous, violent marriage, Jenni eventually began performing as well. Her empowering stage persona and lyrical freedom defeated Mexican machismo at a time when female performers in that realm were scarce. Her attitude was soon emulated by other Hispanic women discovering their own independence, and her significance within the banda/norteno sector of the music industry cannot be understated. 

Most recently, Rivera has been the star of I Love Jenni, her own reality television show on Telemundo’s cable channel mun2 and a second one that focuses on the lives of her daughters. It was also announced last week that the bilingual NBCUniversal star was picked to star in a sitcom currently in development about a strong, single, Latina mother–a role that OC Weekly notes is merely “the story of her magnificent, inspiring life.”

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