Good morning. Thank you for being here today to honor and remember Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Zapata who was murdered nearly four years ago on February 15, 2011.
We in the Embassy community know first-hand about the sacrifices made daily by public servants committed to serving our great nation. Special Agent Zapata paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country.
Today, we are gathered here to reflect on his service and his life. We are here to pay respect to a fellow countryman, an American hero. Wherever you are Sunday, February 15, 2015, pause to remember Special Agent Zapata and his family. Pause to remember where he was and what he did in service to his country. Pause to remember that like you, his pursuit was a noble one, that of freedom and justice.
For much of his life, and especially during his six years as a federal special agent, Jaime demonstrated a genuine love for public service. He was a man driven to uphold our nation’s laws and to protect its citizens from harm, and his career exemplified the spirit to which all of our law enforcement team aspires.
Special Agent Zapata joined HSI in 2006. He was assigned to the Deputy Special Agent in Charge Office in Laredo, Texas, where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit and was hand-picked to serve on the Border Enforcement Security Task Force.
Special Agent Zapata began his federal law enforcement career with the Department of Homeland Security as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Arizona. A native of Brownsville, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Those who worked with him recognized he had a passion for his work and a genuine excitement for what he did. He was highly regarded as reliable and a pleasure to work with and supervise. He was a great special agent. Those who knew him remember his courage, commitment and dedication to duty, and the fact that he was an extraordinary man as well as an exceptional special agent.
Today, we remember Special Agent Zapata for the man he was and hope to draw inspiration from his service. As an Embassy community also committed to public service, we can continue our work to improve our national and our international partnerships as a way to honor Special Agent Zapata.
As we remember him today, please take time to recognize and appreciate your colleges with whom you serve shoulder to shoulder, day in and day out, here in Mexico and who are standing beside you right now as we continue to serve for the cause for which Special Agent Zapata gave his life.
Thank you for honoring his life and his service. Let’s us have moment of silence in memory of him.