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Murder trial of a Border Patrol agent rekindles questions over agency

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LAREDO, Texas – It’s the breakfast rush at La Finca Bruncheria & Cafe, and waiters hurry plates of pancakes and huevos rancheros to tables of Mexican businessmen in shiny suits, chatting families and locals.

Behind the bar, bartender Angie Martinez draws up latte art and pours glasses of papaya juice.

Asked about the U.S. Border Patrol agent about to go on trial for murder, she stops mid-pour.

“You mean the one who killed his girlfriend?” she says. 

No, the other one.

“The one who killed the Guatemalan woman?”

Not that one, either.

“Oh, the one who killed the four women?”

Juan David Ortiz, 39, the former Border Patrol intel supervisor charged with killing four women over 12 days here in September 2018, is set to go on trial beginning Monday. The murders stunned this border community and raised questions about the agency’s ability to police its own ranks.