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The Story of a Cartel Attack – an Interview with Victor Avila, Jr. – Episode 365

Victor Avila, Jr., is a retired Homeland Security Special Agent permanently assigned to a position within ICE. Victor shares his story of being ambushed on Highway 57 in Mexico while on an assignment to meet up with counterparts from another office. He details the attack that happened in 2011 and the years following.

Chuck and Mark play a clip from Victor’s call for help during the attack to start off the show. From here, Chuck and Mark turn it over to Victor. They invite Victor to start his story from before the assignment even started and explain all aspects of the event. Victor discusses the years following the attack, including his struggles with our government.

More about Victor Avila, Jr.:

Mr. Victor Avila Jr. is a retired Homeland Security Special Agent with over 18 years of Law Enforcement experience.  Mr. Avila began his Special Agent career in the Office of Investigations in El Paso, Texas. In 2008, he was promoted to ICE Representative and worked at the ICE office in the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  He was permanently assigned to the ICE Mexico City Attaché office where he served as an accredited diplomat and liaison to the Government of Mexico conducting international complex criminal investigations in a wide range of violations such as narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking/smuggling, financial violations, commercial fraud and counter terrorism. Mr. Avila also successfully led and oversaw the Global Trafficking in Persons initiative.  During his tenure, he addressed large groups of stakeholders on a variety of topics and briefed the Mexican Senate and congress committees in reference to HSI’s role in combating human trafficking, and also spoke before government officials and non-governmental organizations regarding human trafficking matters.  Further, Mr. Avila organized various large training conferences and seminars on human trafficking and money laundering as well as selection of the content of panel discussions and panel members.  In 2011, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain and served as the Assistant Attaché.  He supervised Special Agents and Local Engaged Staff and was responsible for the planning, organization, administration, coordination of HSI activities and the enhancement of the HSI Mission in Spain, Portugal, and Andorra which included investigations regarding intellectual property rights violations, fraud, human smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, commercial fraud, counter terrorism and national security investigations.

As an Assistant Attaché Mr. Avila coordinated and conducted the first Cyber Crimes Investigation Training Seminar in Lisbon, Portugal as well as the first Human Trafficking-Cyber Crimes training Seminar for the Moss’s D’Esquadra Cataluña Police Force in Barcelona, Spain.

Mr. Avila has been recognized for Excellence in Law Enforcement by the ICE Hispanic Agents Association; Exceptional Performance in Operation Green Horizon; Meritorious Service Award by the Office of Investigations-El Paso, Texas; The Director’s Award for Operation in Plain Sight in Mexico; Homeland Security Investigations Excellence in Public Service Award; The ICE Foundation Heroism Award; The Valor Award by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) and the Medal of Valor for Outstanding Bravery by the National Latino Peace Officers Association.  Before becoming a Special Agent, Mr. Avila served as a United States Probation Officer for the U.S. Courts and as a District Parole Officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Mr. Avila is a graduate of the Criminal Investigators Training Program and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at El Paso while focusing on the identity among Hispanic-Americans along the border.

Mr. Avila is currently working on writing his book Murder on Highway 57 Drug Cartels, Human Traffickers, Mass Murderers and the Struggle to Secure Our Southern Border.

Connect with Victor Avila, Jr.:

Twitter: @vicsurvivor11

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