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Latino Daily News

Monday July 18, 2011

Family of Slain Immigration Officer Zapata Demand to Know Where Murder Weapon Came From

Family of Slain Immigration Officer Zapata Demand to Know Where Murder Weapon Came From

Photo: Family of slain immigration officer Jaime Zapata demand to know where murder weapon came from

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The family of slain U.S. immigration agent Jaime Zapata is now demanding to know where the gun he was killed with originated.

“What happened with Jaime needs to come out,” the family’s lawyer, Raymond L. Thomas said to the Los Angeles Times. “And the likelihood that these were Fast and Furious guns is certainly plausible.”

“Fast and Furious” refers to the government program that was supposed to help track where illegally obtained weapons ended up in order to help stop the smuggling of U.S. weapons used to aid the drug war to the south. However, it has been dubbed a failure by most, as many of the weapons were lost only to be found later at a number of crime scenes in Mexico.

Since Zapata’s death just five months ago, the family has asked to authorities in both Texas and Washington D.C. to answer their questions about the February 15th ambush on the Pan-American Highway in northern Mexico, but they have only been told by the FBI that it could not be discussed.

Though nine arrests have been announced by Mexican authorities in connection with the case, the family is still without answers.

In mid June, Thomas sent the U.S. attorney’s office and Homeland Security agents a request for FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration documents on Los Zetas and the ambush, and asked for an inspection of the bullet-filled vehicle. No answers were given.

“Where did the guns come from that were used in his murder?” he asked. “Who provided the guns?”

Texas officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said they believed that at least one of the weapons used in the slaying was bought at a Texas gun shop in October. It is suspected that as many as 40 firearms sold at that shop have wound up in the hands of the dangerous Zetas cartel.