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U.S. Immigration Agents Shot in Mexico; One Dead




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By: TIME NewsFeed

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Mexican soldiers stand guard on a street in Guadalajara City, Mexico July 29, 2010

Mexican soldiers stand guard on a street in Guadalajara City, Mexico July 29, 2010

Alejandro Acosta / Reuters

The statement delivered by a U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Mexico City was dramatic but terse. “Earlier this  afternoon,  two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  special agents  assigned to the ICE Attache office in Mexico City were shot in the  line of duty while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico, by  unknown assailants. ICE is  working with the U.S. State Department,  Mexican authorities and  other U.S. law enforcement partners to investigate the shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with our  colleagues.”(More on See pictures of Mexican drug tunnels)“No further  details are  available at this time. Additional information will be  provided as  it becomes available.”Security and intelligence sources have told TIME’s Dolly Mascareñas that that the two agents had been shot at about 2:20 p.m. in Santa Maria del Rio, just outside San Luis Potosí, arround 400 kilometers from Mexico City. Both men were taken  taken to the Hospital de la Salud in San Luis Potosí; one later died. The other agent was in stable condition.Mexican intelligence sources say that they do not know who the  assailants were but are in the middle of an investigation. The area has several military checkpoints but also several areas and roads controlled by the Zetas, a criminal drug gang, that had its origins as mercenaries for existing narcotrafficking organizations before mutinying and becoming a cartel in its own right. The Los Angeles Times, citing an unnamed official, said the men were shot at a blockade erected by drug traffickers. What the U.S. agents were doing or where were they going is unknown.Apart from ICE, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI have been working in Mexico for the last dozen years. A number of agents have been killed in the past, including, most famously, Enrique Camarena,  a DEA undercover agent bludgeoned to death in 1985 by a Mexican drug lord. Despite U.S. pleas and the obvious dangers of drug investigative work, Mexico has never allowed U.S. agents to carry guns while in its territory.(More on See pictures of Mexico’s drug wars)
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