MONTERREY, MEXICO (AP) - The wreckage of a small plane believed to be carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera was found in northern Mexico on Sunday and there were no survivors, authorities said.
Transportation and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said “everything points toward” the wreckage belonging to the plane carrying Rivera and six other people to Toluca, outside Mexico City, from Monterrey, where the singer who has sold 15 million records had just given a concert.
“There is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human” in the wreckage found in the state of Nuevo Leon, Ruiz Esparza told the Televisa network. The impact was so powerful that the remains of the plane “are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 meters. It is almost unrecognizable.”
No cause was given for the plane’s crash, but its wreckage was found near the town of Iturbide in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental, where the terrain is very rough.
The Learjet 25, number N345MC, took off from Monterrey at 3:30 a.m. local time and was reported missing about 10 minutes later. It was registered to Starwood Management of Las Vegas, Nevada, according to FAA records. It was built in 1969 and had a current registration through 2015.
Media and celebrities in Mexico sent condolences to Rivera’s family, but authorities still had not confirmed that she was aboard the plane and said there will be an investigation to identify the remains found.
“My friend! Why? There is no consolation. God, please help me!” said Mexican pop singer Paulina Rubio on her official Twitter account. Singer Miguel Bose, who appears on the Mexican show “The Mexican Voice” along with Rivera, wrote on his Twitter account: “My dear Jenni, you will always be in my heart. Forever. I love you.”
The Televisa network announced a special program of “The Mexican Voice” in her honor.
Also believed aboard the plane were her publicist, Arturo Rivera, her lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew.
The 43-year-old Rivera who was born and raised in Long Beach, California, is one of the biggest stars of the Mexican regional style known as grupero music, which is influenced by the norteno, cumbia and ranchero styles.
Though drug trafficking was the theme of some of her songs, she was not considered a singer of “narco corridos,” or ballads glorifying drug lords like other groups, such as Los Tigres del Norte. She was better known for singing about her troubles in love and disdain for men.
The so-called “Diva de la Banda” was beloved by fans on both sides of the border for songs such as “De Contrabando” and “La Gran Senora.”
Her parents were Mexicans who had migrated to the United States. Two of her five brothers, Lupillo and Juan Rivera, are also well-known singers of grupero music.
Although the she studied business administration, her passion for music was always present.
She formally debuted on the music scene in 1995 with the release of her album “Chacalosa”. Due to its success, she recorded two more independent albums, “We Are Rivera” and “Farewell to Selena,” a tribute album to slain singer Selena that helped expand her following.