Not good: Gunmen who shot ICE officers in Mexico knew they were from law enforcement

Posted on February 16, 2011

From AZ Central:

MEXICO CITY – Gunmen who shot up an SUV carrying two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, killing one, knew they were attacking law enforcement officers, according to U.S. officials.

But details of the attack that emerged Wednesday indicate the two agents were not targeted ahead of time, rather stopped in the wrong place at the wrong time in a blue Suburban — a vehicle coveted by drug cartels.

Special Agent Jaime Zapata, 32, died and a second agent, Victor Avila, was wounded Tuesday when they were attacked after being stopped on a four-lane federal highway in northern Mexico.


Some reports said the two were stopped at a roadblock, while others said they were run off the road by other vehicles.

Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, who was briefed on the incident as chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, the gunmen opened fire after the agents indentified themselves as U.S. diplomats.

An U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the gunmen made comments before they fired indicating they knew who their targets were. The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly. (emphasis mine)

It certainly doesn’t bode well for anyone hoping that the drug cartels would be hesitant about targeting U.S. citizens, especially law enforcement. 

The LA Times asks some important questions:

Among unanswered questions is why the agents were traveling in such a conspicuous vehicle, a type known to be coveted by gangsters across Mexico, and without extra security in an area of surging drug violence. U.S. law enforcement agents are not allowed to carry weapons in Mexico.

Just who in the system thought it would be okay for  unarmed U.S. officers to travel alone, along a corridor known for cartel activity, in a vehicle which is highly coveted by the cartels? And with all the violence south of the border, why are we not demanding that Mexico allow our law enforcement officers to carry weapons to defend themselves?  

Do we have no common sense any more?