Wednesday, August 12, 2020

LULAC president urges Latinas to not join the military after Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance

Domingo Garcia, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), said he is urging Latinas not to join the U.S. military after the disappearance of Vanessa Guillen, a U.S. soldier stationed in Texas who went missing in April.

“We are asking all women, especially Latina women or their families: Do not enlist in the army until we have assurance they will be protected and taken care of when they serve our country,” Garcia said in a statement.  “And right now I just don’t believe the military is capable of doing that because of what happened to Vanessa Guillen.”

Guillen, a 20-year-old from Houston, was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas when she went missing. Her family and their attorney said the military dragged its feet on the investigation, which only resulted in the arrest of the suspect this week.

Before the two suspects were found, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and LULAC each pledged $25,000 for any information on the suspects’ whereabouts. This week, human remains that Guillen’s family believes are her’s were found near the Leon River in Bell County, Texas.

The family’s attorney, Natalie Khawam, told reporters that Guillen was killed with a hammer before her alleged attacker, Aaron David Robinson, and his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar, attempted to burn her body before dismembering her with a machete. Robinson died by suicide days ago after being confronted by police in Killeen.

Aguilar is in custody and charged with second-degree felony tampering/fabricating physical evidence. “There’s cameras everywhere, so it’s really impossible for her to disappear there from the largest military base in the United States without anyone knowing or finding out,” Garcia said.

Guillen’s family and several House lawmakers have called for a congressional investigation into her disappearance.

THE HILL