Foreign Policy Blogs

Second attempt to ambush US anti-drug agents in Mexico: another "mistake"?

Early this morning, Mexican gunmen armed with short rifles, driving trucks equipped with strobe lights, and in one case, missing license plates, once more attempted to box in a US government-owned vehicle (OGV) driven by US anti-drug agents a short distance from the US border on the Mexican side.

The US agents were unarmed, and the scenario appears to mirror the February 15th attack on ICE Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila.

According to verifiable accounts, one of the Mexican gunmen in the lead vehicle was also wearing a badge around his neck.

The Mexicans ordered the US agent driving the OGV out of his car. The US agent refused and began to move his vehicle forward toward the highway median when another armed Mexican gunman from the truck to the rear got out and started to walk toward the OGV.

Several other trucks with Mexican plates, also carrying armed gunmen, accompanied the two vehicles that appeared to take the lead in targeting the US agents.

While the US agents maneuvered to avoid ambush, traffic began to backup, and as the commotion and attention to what appears to have been another ambush/kidnapping and/or murder attempt increased, the Mexican gunmen returned to their vehicles and pulled away.

The US agents immediately reported the incident to their agency.

According to the Washington Post (DEA Sweep Targets Cartels in Response to Agents Slaying in Mexico, William Booth, 2/25/11) President Calderon is scheduled to visit the White House next week to discuss the US failure to cooperate in Mexico’s war against drugs.

Calderon has called the US contribution to the effort “notoriously insufficient.”

Second attempt to ambush US anti-drug agents in Mexico: another "mistake"?

Agent Jaime Zapata's vehicle after 'mistaken' attack by Mexican Gunmen



Kathleen Millar

Kathleen Millar began her career in public affairs working for Lyn Nofziger, White House Communications Director. She has gone on to write about a wide range of enforcement and security issues for DHS, for the US Department of the Treasury (Customs & Border Patrol), for Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), then a Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and for top law enforcement officials in the United States and abroad.

A Founding Member of the Department of Homeland Security, Millar was also the deputy spokesperson-senior writer for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria. She has authored numerous speeches, articles and opeds under her own and client bylines, and her work, focusing on trafficking, terrorism, border and national security, has appeared in both national and international outlets, including The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times, and Vital Speeches of the Day.

Kathleen Millar holds an MA from Georgetown University and was the recipient of a United Nations Fellowship, International Affairs, Oxford. She is a member of the Georgetown University Alumni Association, Women in International Security (GU), the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and the American News Women’s Club in Washington, DC. Kathleen Millar is currently teaching and writing about efforts to combat transnational organized crime.