Family of US Agent Killed in Mexico Sues Feds

Jaime Zapata's family has previously suggested Fast and Furious link

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 13, 2013 9:04 AM CST

(Newser) – The family of a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who was killed in Mexico and another agent that survived the attack are suing the US government, the agents' supervisors, the company that made their armored SUV, and the gun shops that allegedly sold two of the weapons used, the AP reports. Agent Jaime Zapata was killed and partner Victor Avila seriously wounded in a Feb. 15, 2011, shootout with members of a Mexican drug cartel. The lawsuit is arguing that they never should have been sent on the mission.

The lawsuit also argues that their SUV was flawed—a safety feature caused its door to become unlocked, allowing their attackers to open it—and that the guns were bought in the US; Zapata's family has in the past raised the possibility that they might have been part of the infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Lawyers had been seeking $12.5 million for Avila and $25 million for Zapata's family.

Two women bow before the casket of slain ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata during a funeral mass at the Brownsville Special Events Center in Texas, Feb. 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Brad Doherty, Pool)
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