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Border Patrol chief responds to charges against husband

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In her first public comments since her husband, a former senior Border Patrol agent, was charged with sexually assaulting a female agent, El Paso Sector interim Chief Gloria Chavez told the El Paso Times she is “hurting but will persevere.”

Her husband, Gus Zamora, was arrested and indicted in July on three counts of felony sexual assault and one felony count of kidnapping. The woman who reported the assault to police is a junior Border Patrol agent. She told authorities Zamora sexually assaulted her in his hotel room after a night of heavy drinking at a Tucson restaurant.

Zamora was a senior agent in the Yuma sector but was visiting Tucson. He lived in El Centro, California where his wife was sector chief before she was assigned to El Paso at the end of July.

“As a Sector Chief, I want to emphasize that this situation does not reflect upon the integrity, character or leadership of the Border Patrol and CBP,” Chavez told the El Paso Times in an emailed response to questions.

“As I visit with agents and mission support personnel, and they ask me ‘how I am doing,’ I share with them that I am holding strong through this difficult time in my personal life.”

Chavez has been meeting with agents in the field at their daily briefings where she thanks them for their hard work handling the humanitarian crisis as thousands of migrant families, and teens and children on their own crossed the border asking for asylum. She told the Journal she wants to help agents “stay resilient” as she works to improve conditions in the El Paso Sector, which includes New Mexico.

“Unfortunately, I am not able to speak or comment to the specifics of this case as I am not the subject of the judicial proceeding. However, I have received an incredible amount of positive feedback from female and male agents alike who have voiced their support for me and understanding that I am a victim of infidelity,” Chavez told the El Paso Times.

Zamora retired from the Border Patrol after his arrest. His trial is scheduled for late April.

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