Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Update on ICE Attache Agents' Attack

Several versions of the deadly attack that occurred last Tuesday Feb. 15th, involving two ICE attaché agents have been made public. This is the latest version surrounding the case of U.S. agents attacked on the Panamerican Highway 57 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

The two agents, were ICE attachés assigned to the Embassy in Mexico City, they had just met with other U.S. personnel half way to Monterrey.

They were headed back to Mexico City in a black U.S. government armored SUV with diplomatic plates.

Officials say that Zapata and his partner stopped briefly at a fast food place and were driving on highway 57 or the Panamerican Highway between the towns of Ojocaliente y El Toro, in San Luis Potosí when they stopped at what they thought was a military check point.

It is not known if the cartel's men who were manning the checkpoint knew that they clearly had a US diplomatic vehicle and panicked or they had prior intelligence and had planned the interception.

An informed source said, Zapata who was driving apparently stopped at the check point and lowered his window to show them their U.S. diplomatic papers.

He also began to advise them that they were US federal agents.

The gunmen refused to relent and kept trying to get the agents to come out of their vehicle.

Agent Zapata continued to try to negotiate with the aggressors at one point yelling, "We are Americans, we are diplomats."

The lowered window allowed the gunmen to fire their AK-47 assault rifle and a pistol through the opening.

"They began to shoot indiscriminately,” the official said, striking Zapata several times in the abdomen and Avila twice in the leg.

The attackers gravely wounded agent Zapata, Agent Victor Avila Jr. who was accompanying Zapata on this trip was wounded, but survived the attack.

As soon as they were able to ,the agents closed their windows and tried to drive away but Agent Zavala was seriously wounded.

His partner Agent Avila was not able to physically remove mortally wounded agent Zavala from the drivers seat in order to be able to speed off, so he began calling for assistance.

The armored vehicle withstood the attack and the barrage of rounds.  

A Federal Police helicopter arrived shortly after the attack as did several units federal agencies from nearby San Luis Potosi, said U.S. government officials.

Brownsville Herald:

In an apparent blame game, members of the Gulf Cartel and Carteles Unidos issued a detailed statement where they accuse a number of key Zeta members of the shooting of two U.S agents that resulted in the death of ICE agent Jaime Zapata.

According to the communiqué, which was released to The Brownsville Herald the Gulf Cartel and its allies were separating themselves from a number of crimes stating that the “Mexican federal government is aware that several cowardly acts have been carried out by the criminal group the Zetas who try to confuse public opinion through messages denying any involvement.”

Carteles Unidos is made up of a number of enemies of the Zetas including the Sinaloa Cartel, La Familia Michoacana, Milenio and others

The communiqué states that the attack against the ICE agents in San Luis Potosí was carried out by a group of Zetas under orders of Zeta lieutenant Jesus Enrique “El Mamito” Rejón Aguilar, who targeted Americans.

According a spokesman for Grupo Savant, a Washington-based intelligence company, the information listed in the message is mostly true in some of the cases and plausible in others.

In the case of the ICE agents, the true responsible party is a toss-up because both cartels have a presence in San Luis Potosi, the spokesman said. Based on the company’s research, the perpetrators were more than likely Zetas.

However it is beginning to look like a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time type of scenario.

Agent Zavala's body back in Texas:

On Tuesday agent Jaime Zavala from Hanna, Texas will be buried at Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, in Brownsville, Texas.

His brother wrote the following statement and released their loved one's funeral arragements which will be open to the public in the Brownsville Herald:

In response to this terrible tragedy, the Zapata Family has many people to thank who have provided critical support to us. Our extended family, loved ones, and friends have helped us cope with our grief.

I also want to thank our community, the City of Brownsville, the State of Texas, as well as the Department of Homeland Security.

We have also been overwhelmed by the support of law enforcement officers and agents, and the people of the United States of America during our great loss.

My brother, ICE Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata, was undeniably the best! His dedication to service and integrity was unparalleled. He was the life and soul of our family, and a joy to his friends and colleagues.

I hope that you will remember him in your prayers – as well as the other men and women who have served this great country, and paid the ultimate price so that we may live in freedom in a safer United States of America.

Jaime was a son, a brother, a boyfriend, and a caring, loving person. He grew up giving of himself and was always committed to doing the right thing. I firmly believe he is in heaven now, continuing to work for what is right.

Please also keep his fellow agent, Victor Avila Jr., who was traveling with him, and the Avila family in your prayers, as they continue coping with this tragedy.

God bless my Father, Mother, Jaimes’ girlfriend Stacy, my brothers - Carlos, Jose, William, and all of you here today.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

- Amador Zapata

Rosary Service and Funeral Mass for ICE Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata

A Rosary Service and Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 22, in Brownsville, Texas. Both events will be open to the public.

Monday, February 21:
Viewing: Visitors may come and express their condolences from Monday afternoon through Monday evening at the Brownsville Events Center located at 1 Events Center Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas.

7:00 p.m. – Rosary Service
Brownsville Events Center
1 Events Center Boulevard
Brownsville, Texas

NOTE: Cameras are not permitted in the Brownsville Events Center on Monday.

Tuesday, February 22:

8:30 a.m. – Funeral Mass
Brownsville Events Center
1 Events Center Boulevard
Brownsville, Texas

10:30 a.m. – Procession to Cemetery
Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery
4464 Old Port Isabel Road
Brownsville, Texas

12:00 p.m. – Burial Service
Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery
4464 Old Port Isabel Road
Brownsville, Texas

 Sources: Brownsville Herald
                  Noticias de Santa Maria del Rio


  1. I am police agent in the El Paso/Cd Juarez region and NO ONE has covered the events of these agents as has Borderland Beat. There is a different update almost every day. We are all glued to this site as things develop and Borderland Beat brings us to the front seat of the drug war in Mexico.

    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!

  2. Surely people have to swallow the kool aid the third time keep " updating" the story because it's pure b.s and you know it, we know it. Now some supposed burial time and place is going to convince us? Quit the propoganda b.s and be honest woth people what yout doing..and since you cant because american taxpayers are sick of funding your wars in other countries, I'll tell everyone..The u.s is setting the stage to take over mexico AND the drug trade with it's lucrative profits...sort of like fact we are already there behind the scenes, we got oir greedy nose in, and now were coming in...

  3. As I guessed from the beginning, they stopped because of the uniforms worn by the people at the blockade. And they opened the window and started identifying themselves to what they saw as a military check point.

    They are not stupid and wouldn't stop at a narco blockade (when in an heavy armored vehicle on a 4 lane road, why would they? Duh?); there is nothing like windows falling down and unlocking doors when shifting in park like what we heard from some posters on BB (what kind of car do these folks drive? Vintage Yugo?)

    Now, I'm still wondering what's wrong in this picture.
    Aren't US agents trained well enough to make the difference between a narco in military attire and a real soldier by looking at their weapons before opening the window?
    Or, was it a rogue military outfit manning a narco blockade?

    The story is not over. Keep on reporting, BB. You are the only outlet to continue the coverage of this disturbing incident. Most of the cable news are back to Lilo.

    Thanks for being different.

  4. Hey 12:14 I think that tinfoil hat you have on is too tight.

  5. @12:14, how are those 'shrooms treatin' ya?

  6. Aren't CDG the ones always dressed up in "bootleg" Army uniforms? I know Zetas are the scum of the earth at this moment, but lets not look at the other groups as angels. Most videos we've seen of dismembered Zetas also show them wearing clothes probably bought at the local mercados not camouflage. People are going to say well they were doing a roadblock they have to play the part. Yeah, but these broke ass Zetas have no funds to even dress up to do their dirt. Not to mention they are being hunted. I seriously doubt they would be in the middle of the road waiting for Sinaloa or CDG to show up and turn them into hamburger meat.

    my dos pesos...


  7. 12;14, don't listen to the guy above.>>>I personally have had situations in my-work place where my superiors were trying to set-me-up, and only through my instinct, was i able to get- away-so-to-speak. A ex central intelligence officer, once was quoted as saying, there is no such things as conencedences. You have good-instinct, and so do i. p.s. i have almost all the writers here pegged...keep on posting...r....

  8. "Carteles Unidos is made up of a number of enemies of the Zetas including the Sinaloa Cartel, La Familia Michoacana, Milenio and others"

    Mexican version of Los Pepes in the making. Los Pepes was made up of enemies of Pablo Escobar, and it was an effective tool to take him down.

    To the men and women of the Carteles Unidos, best of luck to you in destroying the disease that plagues Mexico, and I'm looking forward to the old Mexico where innocent people aren't getting hurt.


  9. Do the Military in this region carry AKs?? If not, why would they stop? Sounds like immediate-action time to me.

  10. The leader of the Sinaloa Cartel (Chapo Guzman) is the equivalent to Pablo Escobar, numbnuts! If anything a group should be made to target him. His greed is the cause of most of the problems in Juarez, Tijuana, and Mexico in general. The war against Los Zetas and his propaganda to demonize only his rivals is just part of his strategy. Don't get me wrong I hate the Zetas just as much as the next man, but to glorify a greedy midget! You gotta be kiddin me... They might as well let him run for president with all the ignorant people that adore him. Like if they benefit from all the killings or like if they get a piece of his billion dollar profits! Pinche raza estamos como estamos por pendejos! Por creer en la maldad y no hacer nada...


  11. Some food for thought:

    Why where two U.S. Federal agents driving through Mexico? Wouldn't it be a better idea to fly in?

  12. Carteles Unidos are already doing some serious "taking out the trash" in the state of Zacatecas.Los Zetas are in trouble.

  13. La familia are the same scum as Los zetas and in fact were created by Los zetas and worked for them for awhile untill they rebelled against them. They still use the same terror tactics as Los zetas killing inncoents and burning thier cars to create narco blockades is one ofnthe major tactics shared by these two pos cartels.

  14. @12:14 Pm
    Cool story braw!!!!!

    The military in Mexico has never used or carried the ak platform.

  15. Ditto 8:44

    It has been a about 5 years or so since I was there, but I spent a few months doing some mission work building a new building for an orphanage in Piedras Negras. The Mexican military I saw on the border at the old crossing were all carrying H&K G3's.
    The only other weapons the military would normally carry would be something on an M-16 platform, which BTW is where most of the cartels M-16 styled weapons come from, Deserters from the Mexican Military taking their full auto M-16/M4 issue weapons with them although some are semi-auto AR-15's stolen in the US.
    Mexican military definitely did not issue AK's. Most of those are black market from Bolivia, Nicaragua, etc. or like the AR's are stolen in the US.

  16. @February 20, 2011 9:46 PM

    The mexican military doesn't carry the M-16 freakin moron...but then again like you said its been 5 years or so since you where there right? I have traveled extensively throughout Mexico and been through numerous military checkpoints and NOT ONCE did I see a soldier carry a M16 A2/M4. So that BS comment on "M-16 styled weapons come from, Deserters from the Mexican Military taking their full auto" that is a load of BS. I talked to a a many of them and they told me they are not issued that weapon. And NO AR's were stolen in the US they were bought illegal or legally and given to the cartels...pansy ass Americans want to shift blame on their lack of responsibility on arms control to other countries.

  17. Soliders are not allowed to take weapons home or off base. The only time the weapons leave base is when a mission is being performed. It would be impossible for a solider to deseert during a mission. Ar's are not stolen here in the US in any significant number. Sadly straw buyers buy them for the cartels to try and make a quick bloody buck. Ak's can be sourced in south america for much cheaper than in the US and plus they are already full auto no needmto convert them. Ak's show up in the same ship containers to Mexico as the tons of cocaine that arrive daily.

  18. To the same poster of 12:56&12:51
    Maybe if you quit sucking on your momma's teta's you would add something to society than just being a mental mind can't say anything that educates anyone so you call names, as if that proves your case? I brought out facts about this propoganda piece that you still can't refute, the facts are is this was a planted story to justify going into prove my point read the latest article on bb beat about the " ice agents " being a game changer...this was a planned story that is now being pushed by the elite to go onto mexico full scale...other people here have figured that out right away because they just thought we wouldnt question the complete stupidity and facts of the story..if you had followed it you would know they keep changing it and THEY HAVENT ADDED ANY NEW FACTS, THEY HAVE JUST TRYED TO COVER UP THE HOLES IN THEIR STORY ONCE PEOPLE STARTED POINTING IT OUT! I have facts and have your momma's milk..

  19. The Mexican Marines, the Mexican Special Forces and many other units use M-16/M-4s. Standard Infantry issue rifles are the HK G3 and the FN/FAL.

  20. @Anon 11:34PM ... if that is your idea of 'facts' you probably should get a dictionary and look it up and then look up the word 'opinion' and see which is closer to what you spout. I think the lack of education evident in your post combined with your paranoid conspiracy leanings are obviously not doing you any favors. The US will not be invading Mexico, that would be just about the dumbest thing we could do right now.

  21. To 11:34 PM. Your right about the changed story....My sister was once dealing with a insurance investigator, and she was interviewed many times, and 1 month, 6 months, and a year year later:: They knew she was telling the truth because her story never changed... The investiagator admitted to her their tactics, but as always (money) in alot of circumstances is the determining factor in most situations.

    Someone whos a professional dealer in dogs that sniff out property for drugs or explosives told me once, people are like dogs, they need a incentive to do work. (money or a dog biscuit).


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