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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 16, 2011

Murdered ICE Agent Identified; Zeta Drug Cartel Lead Suspect in Ambush Killing

UPDATE:U.S. officials have provided more details on the ICE agent that was shot to death yesterday afternoon in Mexico.  He has officially been identified as ICE Special agent Jaime Zapata of Brownsville, Texas.  He was assigned to the Officer of the Deputy Special Agent in Charge in Laredo, Texas.  When he was shot he was on temporary assignment to the ICE attache at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Image

Zapata was a 2005 graduate of University of Texas at Brownsville with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. 

ORIGINAL:  Though U.S. officials have not disclosed the names of the two Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents that were ambushed yesterday afternoon in Mexico, local Texas publications have identified them as Jaime Zapata and Jaime Avila, both of Texas.

Zapata was killed when their U.S. federal armored vehicle came under fire when it encountered a ‘narco blockade’ on Highway 57 in San Luis Potosi, that connects Monterrey with Mexico City.

Early indications are the officers were chased by Zeta gunmen and Zapata stopped to identify himself as a U.S. federal official.  It was then the unidentified gunmen fired five shots into Zapata, killing him and injuring Avila.

Yesterday’s attack is the first killing of a U.S. agent by Mexican drug cartels in 25 years, when back in 1985 a drug enforcement agent was kidnapped and killed in Guadalajara.