WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration on Wednesday offered an up to $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of the suspected drug traffickers who shot and killed a U.S. immigration agent and wounded another in Mexico last month.
The State Department said its Narcotics Rewards Program would pay the amount to anyone coming forward with information that results in the arrest of those responsible for the February 15 attack that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila. Both men were agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Zapata and Avila, who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, were attacked as they returned to the capital from Mexico's northern state of San Luis Potosi. Some U.S. officials say it was an intentional ambush and that the gunmen knew who their victims were.
San Luis Potosi is at the center of a power struggle between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel. It is also on the route north used by migrants seeking to reach the United States. Officials say cartels have begun recruiting some migrants to work for the gangs.
The two agents were in a Chevrolet Suburban. Mexico's drug cartels frequently set up roadblocks and ambushes to steal large SUVs and pickups.
Mexican authorities have detained several people in connection with the murder but the investigation continues. Mexico has also announced a reward of up to 10 million pesos for information that leads to the arrest of the killers.
The Narcotics Rewards Program was created by Congress in 1986 to help the government identify and bring to justice the major violators of U.S. narcotics laws.