Head of Hispanic group urges Latinas not to join military after Vanessa Guillen's death

Family believes U.S. Army deliberately covered up her case

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has called for a third-party investigation into the disappearance of Army soldier Vanessa Guillen and urged women not to join the military.

"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,” President of the LULAC Domingo 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 woman from Houston, was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, when she disappeared in April. Human remains, believed to be Guillen, were found in what has been described as a shallow grave near the Leon River in Bell County.

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The family of Guillen has also called for a congressional investigation into the Army’s handling of her disappearance. They and their attorney, Natalie Khawam, have said they believe that the Army were slow to investigate the disappearance. One of two alleged suspects was arrested this week.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and LULAC had reportedly pledged $25,000 in return for information regarding the suspects prior to the arrest this week.

"We lost a life. We lost a beautiful young soldier," Khawam said. "Enough is enough."

Guillen’s family believe the Army was slow to investigate because she had previously reported that she had been sexually harassed. Guillen’s younger sister Lupe, accused the Army of purposefully covering up the case during the search for Guillen.

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“They lied to our faces every single day," Lupe Guillen said. "How can this happen on a military base while she was on duty?"

“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 reportedly intended to file a sexual harassment claim against Aaron David Robinson before she went missing.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Khawam told reporters that Guillen had been killed with a hammer by alleged attacker, Robinson, and his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar. The suspects then allegedly attempted to burn her body before dismembering her with a machete.

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Robinson reportedly died by suicide after police confronted him.

The case has sparked a social media following under the #IamVanessaGuillen which current and former soldiers are now using to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the military.

The Army CID has launched an investigation into Guillen’s claims of sexual harassment.

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