The Los Zetas drug cartel ambushed two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on a dangerous stretch of highway on February 15, 2011.
Special Agent Victor Avila was severely wounded. His partner, Jaime Zapata, was killed.
Zapata was the first U.S. enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in Mexico since the murder of DEA agent Enrique “KiKi” Camarena.
The ICE agents had been dispatched from Mexico City to Monterrey to pick up supplies without proper training or protection.
Warnings had been issued by the U.S. Embassy that the stretch of Highway 57 was a no man’s land controlled by the Los Zetas.
The Zetas had apparently been tipped off and unleashed a barrage of bullets from their assault rifles into their armored vehicle which could not stop the withering fire.
The armored SUV was clearly marked with U.S. State Department diplomatic license plates.
Murder charges against eight of the hitmen were later dismissed because of a loophole in federal law.
Victor Avila, a native of El Paso has written a book about the incident titled Agent Under Fire – A Murder and a Manifesto.
In this episode of True Crime Reporter Extra, we talk to Victor Avila about his crusade to find justice for his slain partner.
Since we interviewed Avila, he announced his political campaign running for Texas Land Commissioner.
True Crime Reporter® is a copyrighted and trade-marked production by True Crime Reporter, LLC, in Dallas, Texas.