Donate Now: Aid to Latino Families of Baltimore Bridge Tragedy Donate Here
* 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the families impacted by the devastating Baltimore bridge collapse.

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

Rebecca Lopez

Jun 29, 2020

LULAC National President Domingo Garcia says the military is not protecting female soldiers. Vanessa Guillen disappeared from Fort Hood two months ago.

Vanessa Guillen's family says they are not getting straight answers from the military.

"I am praying for her to be found soon. I just want her alive. How is it possible for her to go missing on base on a military base? How it is possible?" said Mayra Guillen, Vanessa's sister.

How does a soldier vanish off one of the most secure military bases in the world?

Guillen was last seen in a parking lot outside her regiment headquarters at Fort Hood on April 22.

"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,” said Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC.

He says the military dragged its feet at the beginning of the investigation, losing precious time.

And now the Army is investigating the possibility Guillen was being sexual harassed by one of her superior officers.

"The Army has a saying: We leave nobody behind. We can't leave Vanessa behind or any other women who serves this country,” said Garcia.

Garcia says since Guillen's disappearance and allegations of sexual harassment, other Latina soldiers have come forward to say they have been victims of sexual misconduct.

"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. And right now I just don't believe the military is capable of doing that because of what happened to Vanessa Guillen,” said Garcia.

The Army did not answer our questions about allegations of other Latina soldiers being sexually harassed.

They say they are working hard to find Guillen.

But her family says that's not good enough. They want more transparency and more information about what happened on Fort Hood.