The death of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata is rarely reported. People accuse the media, including Breitbart News, of ignoring him or excluding him from Operation Fast and Furious coverage. The fact is Agent Zapata isn’t connected to Fast and Furious and the government is more secretive about his murder than the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
But for the first time Agent Zapata’s partner Victor Avila spoke out about the attack that left Agent Zapata dead and him wounded. His twin sister Magdalena Avila-Villalobos spoke for him in the Univision special on Fast and Furious. Avila is so scared and hurt by the attack he did not speak out until he knew he was in a secure location.
No one knows for sure why Agent Zapata and Agent Avila, assigned to the US Embassy, were asked to travel on road 57, a road controlled by the Zeta Cartel and extremely dangerous. They didn’t even know why they were given the mission to retrieve electronic surveillance equipment. The urgency made it even more suspicious.
“Why Jaime and me?” said Ms. Avila-Villalobos. “It wasn’t our operation. It was equipment that could have been sent in some other way.”
Agent Avila immediately asked his supervisors why they wanted them to travel on this risky road given the security issues. The supervisors claimed there weren’t any security issues. However, the United States State Department had forbidden any US Embassy employee from traveling on that road.
“Why send them by themselves?” asks Mary Zapata, Agent Zapata’s mother.
Here is what happened in Agent Avila’s own words.
Agent Zapata and Agent Avila met with American consulate agents in Monterrey and received 14 boxes of equipment. They did stop for something to eat on road 57 before heading back to Mexico City. About a half hour after leaving the restaurant they noticed two cars closely following them. Within seconds the vehicles surrounded them and 14 heavily armed men formed a circle around their car.
Unfortunately, Agent Zapata put the car in park, which forced the doors to automatically open. Agent Avila said they thought their diplomatic plates would protect them and the screamed they were American agents. The men didn’t care and demanded them to exit the vehicle.
The agents refused to leave their vehicle. They frantically tried to relock the doors, but instead Agent Avila accidentally lowered his window. A rifle and handgun came in through the small opening and the man opened fire. Agent Avila pressed the emergency satellite button, but it did not work. He also tried to place an emergency call to the embassy, the Mexican capital, and the First Post of the Regional Security Command. They told Avila a Mexican Federal Police helicopter would be there in 40 minutes.
90 bullets were fired. Five hit Agent Zapata and three hit Agent Avila in his right leg. Agent Zapata turned to Agent Avila and said, “I am going to die.” Agent Avila responded, “No, you are not going to die. Be strong, help is on the way, you are not going to die.
While in the rescue helicopter Agent Avila was informed Agent Zapata did, in fact, die.
The last time Agent Avila was seen in public was at Agent Zapata’s funeral. He does not sleep, has nightmares, lost all his hair. His family said he is a different person.
Just like Brian Terry’s family, Agent Zapata’s family demand answers. ICE, ATF, FBI, and the DOJ have denied them all access to the investigations. It has been confirmed the cartel members were using guns from another gun walking operation. This one is out of Dallas, TX.
“I’m willing to spend the rest of my life to find out and understand what happened to my son,” said Mrs. Zapata.
Last week Representative Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley asked the DOJ to open an investigation into Agent Zapata’s death and the gun walking operation.