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Cartel Operators Killed ICE Agent At Trafficking Checkpoint

February 16, 2011  | 


Special Agent Jaime J. Zapata. Photo via ICE.

Special Agent Jaime J. Zapata was killed by Mexican drug cartel gunmen at an illegal drug trafficking checkpoint with another federal agent north of Mexico City.

Zapata and partner Victor Avila, both U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, were traveling between Mexico City and Monterrey when they were stopped by cartel operators near San Luis Potosi. The agents were in a blue Suburban with diplomatic plates and identified themselves as diplomats.

When Zapata rolled down his window, members of the Los Zetas cartel opened fire on them, fatally wounding Agent Zapata and wounding Avila, who is now recovering in the U.S., reports the El Paso Times.

The two agents were on assignment from the ICE office in Laredo, Texas, working out of Mexico City. In Laredo, Agent Zapata had served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force.

On Wednesday, President Obama called Agent Zapata's parents to offer condolences on the loss of their son. A White House spokesman told Fox News Obama will "work with the Mexican government to bring the assailants to justice."

Agent Zapata had served with ICE for four years and had previously served with the U.S. Border Patrol for four years.

Special Agent Zapata began his federal law enforcement career as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Ariz. A native of Brownsville, Texas, Special Agent Zapata graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2005 with a criminal Justice degree.

Tags: Mexican Drug Cartels, Duty Deaths, Homeland Security, Drug Trafficking, Los Zetas Cartel


Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Tony Gutierrez @ 2/16/2011 4:41 PM

What must happen is: The U.S. should send either death squads on bounties to kill these cartels in retaliation or send airforce or naval airstrikes on Mexico.

Steven Clark @ 2/16/2011 8:08 PM

Air force or Naval strikes where? all of Mexico? Obviously you know the grid coordinates of the Head Cartel members. Idiot.

Morning Eagle @ 2/17/2011 9:09 PM

Agreed, I have been saying for two or three years that we should send in clandestine teams to take out those cartels wherever they can be found (and they are all over the place). I do not mean arrest them either, I mean kill them. Find them stopping traffic like this - don't even talk to them, just wipe them out. I am not a bloodthirsty killer but they are pushing too hard and they only understand one language. Superior firepower unhesitatingly applied.

mr j @ 2/18/2011 5:45 AM

Nothing will happen to the cartel as the death of the ice agent will be in vain the politics will block all justice and a year from now we'll hear some bs story how the killers where found dead somewhere. Another one dies and the big wigs will run there mouths and demand justice but unfortunately the drug war sends another to an early grave.

FireCop @ 2/18/2011 6:07 AM

This is definately our next arena for military activity. It doesn't matter what the President of Mexico thinks or feels, there will come a time when the US will have had enough and have to send troups into Mexico to at least send a message to the cartels that we aren't going to take it any more. This was a totally unecessary killing, and there's no question that the US government's low degree of action to date is partially responsible.

Bill Mullins @ 2/18/2011 10:09 AM

These two agents were not carrying thier weapons due to mexican law which forbade them to do so.

Morning Eagle @ 2/18/2011 6:57 PM

The U.S. government should tell Mexico where they can stick that stupid law or we will pick up our marbles and go home! Their laws certainly are not stopping the criminal elements that are trashing their country from carrying firearms! We have given, not loaned but given, them billions in cash, equipment and special training to try to help them fight the cartels. The least they can do for our people down there in an official capacity is not to restrict their ability and means to defend themselves against the vicious thugs running and working for the cartels.

J @ 12/22/2011 5:35 PM

how did we agree for our LEO's not to carry in an extreme hostile enviroment, when that country asked for our help. That should never had happen, it's all or nothing! We should not have fallin under that Mexican law. I agree with Morning Eagle, send covert teams to exterminate the problems and get out.

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