Gunmen Knew They Were Killing a U.S. Agent

Feb 18th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime
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THE BORDER REPORT

This is a story I produced for KJZZ, public radio, Arizona. Note, law enforcement sources I spoke with say police recovered more than 80 shellcasings at the crime scene.

New details have emerged in the attack of two US immigration agents working in Mexico. People familiar with the case say the agents identified themselves to the gunmen. But that didn’t stop the shooters from opening fire and killing one of the men.

The two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had stopped for lunch Tuesday and they were driving south on a busy highway between Monterrey and Mexico City.  What happened next was confirmed by DEA agents who reviewed the reports. A vehicle believed to be driven by members of the Zeta cartel passed the American’s armored SUV. Another, crowded the agents from behind and forced them to a stop.

Jaime Zapata, the agent who died in the attack, put the SUV in Park. That unlocked the doors. The attackers opened his door. He managed to close it again. Then one of the agents lowered the window.

Texas Republican Representative Michael McCaul was debriefed by senior ICE officials.

“The ICE agents said we’re Americans, we’re diplomats. And the response from the Zetas was to open fire on the agents,” he said.

Federal law enforcement officials have warned about threats against agents working in Mexico for years, but the belief has persisted that American agents were hands off. Diplomatic security consultant Ron Williams says the agents were properly trained.

“People make mistakes. People are human” Williams said. And they probably didn’t think that these guys would in fact open up and try and kill them.”

Williams says rolling down the windows and trying to reason with the attackers were the agent’s biggest mistakes.

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34 comments
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  1. ah first one to comment… suckers ;-)

    [Reply]

  2. Hijack an oil ship off the coast of Somalia, you get a naval fleet and Navy SEALs shooting at you.

    US federal agent gets killed in Mexico and you get an NPR story written about you…

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    El surfer Reply:

    international waters / sovereign nation Duh !

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    Vincent Hanna Reply:

    yeah, that was the reason.

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    ilegal Reply:

    hey Vincent, how lucky some guys I know somewhere would be if they could make some monkey open his windows for them just for three seconds lmao!

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  3. Alguien sabe quienes son los hermanos del Nacho Coronel?
    nomas cuanto tenia? Acabo de conocer un sobrino de el. Pero quiero saber como se llama su padre.
    Es muy importante. No soy policia,pfp,ejercito, nada de eso.

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    ak47 Reply:

    habia un carnal de nacho que se llamaba magdaleno, es el que salia apañando a la reina del pacifico y el mayo al fondo en una foto que circulo a nivel nacional cuando la arrestaron, creo que a magdaleno lo mato a chihuahuazos el ejercito, busca en internet por ahi anda su foto y ahi mucha info del vato.

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  4. Agarraron al hermano del Sillas en Los Angeles.
    El procurador de Justicia del estado, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, confirmó que autoridades de Los Ángeles, California, detuvieron a un presunto sicario que trabajaba para el actual líder del cártel Arellano Félix.unto con él fueron arrestados otros dos sujetos a quienes se acusa de intento de homicidio de integrantes de una familia por una supuesta deuda de drogas con la banda criminal tijuanense. El detenido fue identificado como Jorge Ernesto Sillas Rocha, hermano de Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha “el Sillas Ruedas”, calificado como uno de los principales colaboradores de Fernando Sánchez Arellano “el Ingeniero”. Moreno Manjarrez calificó como “muy importante” la detención del hermano del “Sillas Ruedas”. Dijo que desde la mañana del viernes se le solicitó información sobre las acciones de estos sujetos en Baja California, donde se les iniciaron investigaciones por secuestro y homicidio. Reconoció que la detención de estos sujetos en Los Ángeles, California, muestra que la influencia de esta agrupación ha trascendido las fronteras.

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  5. from what i hear the pri 2012 gonna quiet shit down….calderans war on drugs was a bad way too try to
    make himself legite….

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  6. DHS recently busted a senior Hezbollah operative who employed Mexicans nationals to set up a network designed to target Israel and the West. The man’s name is Jameel Nasr and was arrested after an operation revealed that he traveled frequently to Lebanon to receive information and instructions from Hezbollah commanders. He also spent several months in Venezuela working with terror groups and Hugo Chavez’s people.

    Calderon just sent a significant number of troops to the border regions to help battle the cartels and to deal with the growing connection to Hezbollah. Mexico knows the seriousness of a cartel connection with Hezbollah and the threat to their national security.

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    asi es Reply:

    Suena muy fantacioso…

    [Reply]

    El Ventilador Reply:

    Jajajajajajaja no me chingues compa !!! Así dijeron en Iraq , que había WMD y todo fue just bullshit !! You still belive in bin laden, rigth ???
    Si en verdad supieras de este ambiente , sabrias que Los israelitas surten a Los carteles de armas, entrenamiento y espionaje…..
    Las mamadas van en otro lado

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  7. Anyone see the new Zeta, and can help me with the translations? The google ones don’t help, as keywords are often lost in translation. Mentions Fernando Sanchez is ‘almost gone’, I don’t know what context that is in, but anyone that can help me clarify the article would be appreciated. Sinaloa/LFM fighting in Tijuana? What is going on?

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    El Doble J Reply:

    I think he’s just letting the CDS eliminate Silla’s and LFM people because CAF doesn’t want to get into another war and get more decimated. The LFM and CDS conflict is quite surprising because they’re still some LFM working with CDS. I think the LFM people in TJ went independent or switch with Silla’s and therefore they’re getting killed.

    What was interesting is that the article named Benjamin’s son Franky as being involved in TJ. However, it states him and his mom are loyal to the CDS faction. This is confusing but hey it’s better than those damn novelas.

    How do you think Leyzaola is going to do in Juarez? Apparently he’s being named chief police tomorrow. I think the dude is asking for it and Juarez in not TJ. I give it about a month before the Juarez cartel tries to take him out especially after they see how he treats those dudes after getting arrested.

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    mofle619 Reply:

    looks like sillas is having a few headaches now… kind of older news though…

    http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/02/tijuana_cartel_murder_hire.php

    [Reply]

    Mario Reply:

    It won’t be easy to bring down Leyzaola, in TJ he traveled in a convoy, armored cars, and his 12 personal guards, im guessing hes taking his soldiers with him.

    [Reply]

    J Reply:

    Anyone think there is any validity to the Engineer is out news? Or is it Zeta’s creative approach to reporting?

    It won’t be easy to get Leyazola, but Tijuana is different them Juarez, whole other type of savages over there.

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  8. cayooo el z40 en monterrey!!

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    hector Reply:

    Siempre dicen eso compa. Como sabes?

    [Reply]

    asi es Reply:

    Y ahora que el MP fue atorado en Mexicali!… Les agarra una de soltar buscapies y no confirman nada! lol!….

    [Reply]

    Hector Reply:

    Se dice que fue en San Luis Rio Colorado.
    Pero se dice que solo son rumores.

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  9. Alguien sabe que ondas con el procedimiento de Vicente Zambada en Chicago? Lo ultimo que se dijo fue que declaro inocente de los cargos y de ahi nada e oido.

    [Reply]

    Ro Reply:

    a mi se me hace que no le encuentran nada al morro y no le van a poder hacer nada y solo se andan haciendo pendejos pa ver si agarran a otro amár que le tire al niño pa tener ahora SI con que juzgarlo

    [Reply]

    El Doble J Reply:

    Bueno en Mexico no tenian nada de evidencia contra el de lo que e oido. Segun que nomas tenian un averiguacion sobre una orden de matar a alguien en Tijuana. Pero creo que eso ultimamente se lo hecharon a su papa. Como que he got extradited to quick no…La Barbie segun lo ivan a mandar para aca desde Octubre y hasta hoy nada. El pedo de Chicago es con los morros que torcieron no? Ustedes creen que ellos le dieron informacion a los gringos?

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  10. Dicen que es el mamito o el Z40 el que cayo abatido en Monterrey.
    Pero quien sabe?

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  11. What happened to this blog? Where’s every body blogging at? It reminds me of Avenida Revolucion after the apprehension of Benjamin (from a tourist point of view).

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  12. Does anyone hear about the death of Gonzalo Inzunza ????? In Culiacán today is the rumor, that Macho Prieto was dead, and that Joaquin betrayed Ismael, thats the buzz filling the air with fear because this could mean la guerra total como en Colombia cuando Jabon se agarro con Don Diego…..aunque con tanto movimiento en las quintas, something big is happening !

    [Reply]

    Hector Reply:

    Son rumores nomas.

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    ilegal Reply:

    si, era puro pedo lo del gonzalon, aparte el mayo y el chapo son dos vivoritas, se pueden disgustar pero nunca morderse.

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    Hector Reply:

    El rumor es que al mayo le decomisaron 10 toneladas de mota en mexicali y sonora. El Mayo piensa que El Chapo fue quien aviso a las autoridades. Los grupos de el mayo y chapo en sonora , dicen, se estan culpando.

    [Reply]

    asi es Reply:

    jajajajaja… Estuvo buena esa de “viboritas” Ile!jejejeje… Y yo tampoco creo que salgan de pleito, su fuerza radica precisamente en esa union.

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  13. Y luego que porque nadie le cree , ni confía en el us govt…….vale madres !!!!

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/another-runaway-general-army-deploys-psy-ops-on-u-s-senators-20110223

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  14. q.e.p.d. condor 2

    [Reply]

    asi es Reply:

    Seguramente era una blanca palomita!, mandale hacer una misa en el Vaticano, y de una vez averiguate cuanto sale mas o menos una canonizada express y hacemos una vaquita.

    [Reply]

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