Zapata Supporters Line the Streets to Wish Fallen Agent a Final Farewell

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 9:50am

Most didn't know him, didn't know the family, had no direct connection to Jaime Zapata what so ever, but the fact that he gave his life, while ultimately protecting theirs, touched the hearts of supporters deeply.

"This man gave his life in the war against drugs, which for me is every bit as important as the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is, and I think we should support him." said a Zapata supporter.

"I'm 100% for these ICE agents and border patrol and customs enforcement agents risking their lives out there for us and that's why I'm here this morning, breaking from my job to come and pay my respects for Mr. Jaime Zapata." said a Zapata supporter who watched the burial from a distance.

Tuesday morning a number of people lined the roads as the procession passed, while others stood along the fence of the cemetery to wish the fallen agent a final farewell.

"I'm very patriotic so I really admire anybody that gives their life for the service of our country." said a veteran of war.

One of the groups gathered, which consisted of over 20 people, waved American flags proudly. Many tell News Center 23 they are veterans, so they know the sacrifice and risks Zapata was up against when working in such a dangerous territory.

"Anytime we can honor someone who has given their life, we are honored to do just that." said a spokesman for the large group of supporters.

Some didn't want to speak to our cameras, they were too upset, it was too difficult a task, too heartbreaking, but many expressed the same feelings as one Zapata supporter actually shared with us.

"We feel that he was doing something for our country, and I feel bad for his family and friends and everybody." said a woman as she fought the tears back.

ICE special agent Jaime Zapata died last Tuesday after his SUV was ambushed by a large group as he and his partner were traveling along a highway in San Luis Potosi.

The special agent was laid to rest Tuesday, February 22nd at the Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens in Brownsville.

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