LULAC Questions Why Fort Hood Investigators “Didn’t Care” About Missing Latino Soldier Found Dead This Week
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Claims of Inaction In Disappearance of Private Gregory Wedel-Morales Are Similar to Those of Vanessa Guillen’s Case
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) said Thursday that claims by the family of a Latino soldier whose remains were found Sunday ten months after he disappeared are the same as charges raised by the mother of Vanessa Guillen and demonstrate a pattern of indifference by Army officials.
“Private Morales was just two weeks away from completing six years of service in the Army yet Fort Hood investigators ignored his family’s pleas for help for months and classified him as a deserter instead of doing their job. His brother said military investigators didn’t care.” stated Domingo Garcia, National President. “It doesn’t make sense that a young man who was just days away from getting an honorable discharge and his military benefits would all of a sudden just disappear without a trace. Yet, that’s exact;y what the Army used as the excuse to do nothing for months, the same as they did in Vanessa’s case,” he added.
Morales’ remains were found Sunday night in a wooded field less than five miles from the base. Investigators received a tip after a reward of up to $25,000 was offered for any information leading to his whereabouts. An autopsy has been ordered into what caused Morales’ death and military officials now say the soldier was a victim of foul play. On Monday, Army investigators for the first time acknowledged foul play was also behind the disappearance of Pvt. Vanessa Guillen, more than two months after her family reported her missing and asked for the Army to help them locate her.
“LULAC is demanding that the Army at the highest levels make Vanessa’s case a priority and stop making excuses for their inaction the past two months,” says Analuisa Carrillo-Tapia, Director of Texas LULAC District 17. “We’re not going to allow what happened in soldier Morales’ case to happen here. Vanessa deserves to be found and the person or persons responsible need to be arrested before they do this to someone else. LULAC is going to stay on this case no matter what until we get results. Then, we want a Congressional hearing into what is going on at Fort Hood and other Army installations where female soldiers have told us they too are being sexually harassed, just like Vanessa reported just before she went missing,” said Tapia.
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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.