Washington, D.C. – Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government – released the following statement following the White House Law Enforcement and First Responder Bill Signings:
“PMA was proud to attend a White House ceremony today in which President Biden signed into law several bills impacting law enforcement and first responders. Among these bills, was the Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Officers and Employees Protection Act (Zapata-Avila Act),” Hooper stated.
“The Zapata-Avila Act represents a hard-fought effort to rectify injustice and ensure the protection of federal employees serving abroad. Named after two federal law enforcement special agents who were attacked by drug cartel members in Mexico, this Act ensures the U.S. government can pursue justice against violent actors who harm federal employees stationed abroad. Special Agent Zapata tragically lost his life in the attack in Mexico and Special Agent Avila was seriously wounded. Unfortunately, due to a federal court interpreting several statutes against assaulting federal employees as only applying domestically, the murder and attempted murder convictions of the drug cartel members were vacated,” Hooper continued.
“With passage of the Zapata-Avila Act, all federal employees stationed abroad can rest assured that the U.S. government has all the necessary tools to pursue justice on their behalf. The Act clarifies the extraterritorial application of various statutes regarding attacks on federal employees and provides prosecutors an avenue for achieving justice in cases like Zapata and Avila’s attack,” Hooper furthered.
“Ultimately, nothing will ever remedy the injustice and devastation felt by the Zapata family. But PMA is proud to have been part of a coalition of federal employee and law enforcement partners working to ensure no other federal employee family experiences the same miscarriage of justice,” Hooper concluded.