Mexico Arrests Suspects In Shooting Death Of ICE Agent; Says It Was Mistaken Identity
February 24, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican officials said Wednesday that they arrested the presumed leader of a group of killers involved in the recent shooting death of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent and the injuring of another.
Mexican authorities paraded Julián Zapata Espinosa, alias “El Piolín,” the alleged leader of the group, and and five other men before the news media. They also arrested three women, including Zapata’s wife, and a minor.
The two ICE agents were attacked on a major highway near the central city of San Luis Potosí, after the gunmen spotted the agents driving in a dark sport utility vehicle on February 15 and pursued them before opening fire.
The shooting was allegedly a case of mistaken identity.
“They confused the look of the car and thought the (agents) were working for a rival gang,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, according to Reuters.
ICE director John Morton said that the investigation is still ongoing and that the U.S. is working closely with Mexican officials “as it unfolds.”
“We welcome the arrest announced today by Mexican authorities,” said Laura Sweeney, a Department of Justice spokeswoman in Washington, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderón next week amid a spike in drug-related violence and comments by Calderón that the U.S. wasn’t doing enough to help fight drug traffickers.
- Kansas City Royal’s pitcher Joakim Soria asked on his Twitter account to stop being called by his nickname, the Mexicutioner, due to the violence in Mexico.
- Indiana’s senate passed a law similar to the tough immigration bill in Arizona, despite opposition from some of the largest employers and business groups in the state.
- Cuban police detained former hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas as he shouted anti-government slogans from his rooftop on the anniversary of the death of political prisoner Orlando Zapata, his mother said.
- Puerto Rico received $26 million from the Commerce Department to develop access to broadband service on the Caribbean island, the U.S. territory with the slowest Internet connections.
- A forest conservation initiative in Guatemala and a sustainable development project in Nepal are the recipients of this year’s Sasakawa Prize, the United Nations Environment Program announced today.
- The head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Nicaragua used his position to undermine President Daniel Ortega, leaked diplomatic cables show.
- Spain’s development minister on Tuesday visited the area where work is continuing to expand the Panama Canal, a project in which three Spanish firms are participating.
- A coalition of Venezuela’s opposition parties announced Wednesday that its member have agreed to hold a primary to pick a presidential candidate to run against Hugo Chávez next year.
- Rail service to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu returned to normal on Tuesday after authorities verified that the level of the Urubamba River had fallen, officials with the railway firm told EFE.
- A glacier on Peru’s Huaytapallana Moutain shed half its surface ice in just 23 years, officials said Wednesday, reinforcing concerns of climate change’s growing threat to fresh water resources.
- Brazil missed its self-imposed deadline to provide details on how it will cut $30 billion from this year’s budget.
- The 31 rescued Chilean miners are guests of the Israeli government and are spending a week visiting Jewish and Christian holy sites.
- Uruguay plans to sign a double-taxation treaty with India very soon, according to its Vice-PresidentDanilo Astori.
Image: kjmatthews @ Flickr.