Funeral Service for Fallen ICE Agent Set for Tuesday

BROWNSVILLE–Funeral arrangements have been set for a fallen ICE Agent from Brownsville and his family has issued a statement about his tragic death.

Jaime Zapata, 32, was on loan in Mexico to help fight the drug cartels. He was shot to death after he and his partner were ambushed outside of San Luis Potosi on Tuesday afternoon. It’s believed the Zeta cartel was behind his death. Victor Avila survived the attack.

Texas Congressman Michael McCaul reports about 90 bullet casings were found at the scene and many believed this was planned attack aimed at the U.S. government.

His family broke their silence and released a statement to the public about his death. His brother, Amador Zapata, an ICE Agent based in the Lower Rio Grande Valley wrote:

“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.

Zapata added about the support of the community and fellow law enforcement officers:

“We 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.”

Zapata also wrote how his brother gave up his life so Americans can live a better one:

“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.”

His brother believes Zapata is in a better place now:

“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.”

Zapata leaves behind his mother, father, four brothers and a fiancée:

“God bless my Father, Mother, Jaime’s girlfriend Stacye, and my brothers – Carlos, Jose, William, and all of you here today. Thank you for your prayers and support.”

Zapata’s body arrived on Friday afternoon and his body was taken from the Brownsville International Airport to the Buena Vista Funeral Home.

More than 200 officers and ICE Agents met the body and saluted him when he arrived. There also were many people from the community who stood out on the street to welcome Zapata home.

Federal offices have lowered their flags to remember Zapata and how he died for his country fighting the drug cartels in Mexico.

Visitation for Zapata will be held on Monday from 11 am until 9 pm at the Brownsville Events Center. A rosary will be heard at 7 pm.

A mass will be held on Tuesday at 8:30 am followed by his burial at Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens.

His body is schedule to be moved on Sunday afternoon from the Buena Vista Funeral Home to the Brownsville Events Center.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

For more stories in the South Texas Tribune, go to http://www.southtexastribune.com

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