Families of US immigration agents Jaime Zapata, Victor Avila file lawsuit over Mexico attack

Mexican police guard a US Embassy vehicle after it came under attack by gunmen in Santa Maria del Rio, San Luis Potosi State, on Feb. 15, 2011. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jamie Zapata was shot and killed and a second agent, Victor Avila, was seriously wounded in the attack that is now the subject of a lawsuit.

The family of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, who was attacked and killed in northern Mexico two years ago, has filed a lawsuit in a US federal court, CNN reported.

Zapata’s colleague, Victor Avila, who was seriously wounded in the Feb. 15 2011 ambush on Highway 57 near Santa Maria del Rio in San Luis Potosi state, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Brownsville, the Valley Morning Star reported.

The Associated Press said the lawsuit names 24 defendants, including the US government, the agent’s supervisors, the company that armored their sports utility vehicle and the US gun shops that allegedly sold the weapons used in the deadly attack.

The pair was driving from Mexico City toward the northern city of Monterrey along a highway "known to be patrolled and controlled by a dangerous criminal organizations" to pick up equipment from another agent when they were attacked by gunmen, the Valley Morning Star reported.

The lawsuit claims Zapata and Avila never should have been sent on such a dangerous mission, their vehicle was defective and some of the weapons used in the attack had been smuggled into Mexico from the US, the AP said.

According to previous court documents, lawyers for the family of Zapata are seeking $25 million and $12.5 million for Avila.

More from GlobalPost: Jaime J. Zapata, US immigration agent, shot and killed in Mexico (VIDEO)