"Louie Garcia, a deputy special immigration and customs agent involved with the sweeps, echoed that thought in an interview with The Associated Press. "This is personal," he said. "We lost an agent. We lost a good agent. And we have to respond." ("Drug Raids Across U.S. Net Hundreds of Suspects", New York Times)
"If you attack a U.S. law enforcement officer, we are not going to back down," said Derek Maltz, special agent in charge of special operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration." (LA Times)
No one expects the police to "back down", nor do they expect them to go on a rampage and incarcerate hundreds of people who had nothing to do with Zapata's death.
From the LA Times: "Authorities said the sweeps were a direct response to the slaying of Zapata, who was the highest-profile U.S. law enforcement officer killed in Mexico since DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was kidnapped and tortured by drug gangs in 1985."
So, 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents were deployed in this misguided muscle-flexing exercise to send a message to Mexican druglords that US agencies are prepared to "get tough"? Is that it? Unfortunately, the sweeps merely prove that the police are flying blind and haven't the slightest idea how to deal with the problem, so they've returned to the same tit-for-tat failed strategy that's been used for the last 30 years. As always, the latest failure was accompanied by a press conference where bulging bags of cocaine and kilos of marijuana were stacked three feet high so the media could "Ooo and Ahhh" over the DEA's latest triumph. Meanwhile, the 450 victims of this fiasco are spending their time in the hoosegow before being deported to Mexico. This is justice?
On Wednesday, President Obama called Mexico's president Felipe Calderon and thanked him for arresting a number of suspects in the Zapata investigation. According to the Associated Press: "Obama told Calderon that neither the United States nor Mexico could tolerate violence against those who protect and serve the citizens."
Right. More than 35,000 people have been killed in the last four years in the battle between the drug cartels and the Mexican military, and Obama says he will not "tolerate violence"?
Wake up and smell the coffee, Barack.
"Today's forceful crackdown demonstrates that the United States will never back down from the threats posed by barbaric criminal organizations that smuggle poisons into our communities and have no regard for innocent human life."