Mexican Officials Arrest Suspect In ICE Agent’s Murder

BROWNSVILLE–One day after burying their 32-year-old son and brother, a victim of an ambush by drug cartels in Mexico, officials announced they have made an arrest in his death.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced they have arrest the main suspect in the murder of Jaime Zapata of Brownsville, who was an ICE Agent working in Mexico on a drug and money laundering taskforce.

It happened on February 15, while he and his partner were en route on a federal highway in San Luis Potosi. Authorities said the agents were bracketed and forced off the road before they were shot.

Zapata was hit several and died from his injuries. His partner, Victor Avila, an El Paso resident, survived the attack.

President Calderon said the suspect was a member of the Zetas and several members of his group were taken into custody.

President Obama spoke to the Mexican President after he made the announcement.

“He thanked him for Mexican efforts to bring to justice the murderers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata, including the arrest today of one of his alleged killers.” President Obama said. “The President said neither the United States nor Mexico could tolerate violence against those who serve and protect our citizens, as Special Agent Zapata did so selflessly through his own life.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also issued a statement.

“I welcome the news that Mexican authorities have apprehended one of the alleged killers of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata,” said DHS Secretary Napolitano.  “We will continue to assist the ongoing Mexican investigation with every resource at our disposal and to ensure that all those responsible for Special Agent Zapata’s murder face justice.”

ICE Director John Morton called it a welcome development, but also said it was an ongoing investigation.

At the Zapata Family home in Brownsville, armed agents from ICE still surrounded the home. The family, which includes a two brothers who work for the Department of Homeland Security, had no comment about the arrest.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

http://www.southtexastribune.com for more stories

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