Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar’s bill called the Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act has now passed, and is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.
Bennie Thompson who is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security said, “I want to congratulate Rep. Cuellar on the final passage of his bill in memory of Special Agent Jaime Zapata, who lost his life helping secure the Nation’s borders.
His bill will help secure our Nation’s borders and help dismantle criminal organizations by creating cross-agency teams to combat them.”
The bill is named in memory of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata who was killed in line of duty last year.
The death of Zapata is considered to be the second highest profile killing of a U.S. agent in Mexico, which the first one was that of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985.
Zapata died when he was intercepted at a road block by Mexican cartel “Los Zetas”, where the vehicle he was traveling in along with Victor Avila was shot at more than 90 times.
Zapata and Avila were traveling through Mexico transporting surveillance equipment the day of the incident, which Avila was able to survive the attack, but was seriously wounded.
This is the case that sparked the big “Fast and Furious” controversy.
This bill seeks to reduce potential threats along the border, by facilitating collaboration between federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies to execute coordinated activities and enhance information-sharing among agencies for a safer border.
Special Agent Zapata served at the ICE office in Laredo, Texas.