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LULAC Launches #La Quiero Viva Campaign For Missing Latino Soldier Vanessa Guillen

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Her Mother’s Pleas Demand We Support Call for More Action From U.S. Army

Washington, DC - Elsie Valdes-Ramos, National Vice-President for Women, is the highest elected female advocate for women in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Today, she issued the following statement on behalf of the still missing 20-year old Fort Hood Army Private:

“Vanessa is our daughter, our sister, our wife and LULAC will not stop crying out, ‘LA QUIERO VIVA!’ until she is brought home to her family and to our community. We will not rest. Our country and the world saw and heard the heartbreaking pleas of Gloria Guillen, the mother of Vanessa, a few days ago as she wept under the hot Texas sun at the entrance to Fort Hood Army base near Killeen, Texas.

‘LA QUIERO VIVA!’ she cried out to the Army about her daughter, who has been missing now more than two months. We too, feel this mother’s pain over the many still unanswered questions she asked that day. How could her daughter simply vanish without a trace from a secured American military base? Who was behind this situation and what is the reason he or they still have not been arrested? And why is the Army only now acknowledging that there was foul play involved? This female soldier didn’t just leave on her own on April 22nd when she was called into work and never seen again.

The U.S. Army must answer for Vanessa’s disappearance with a full investigation to determine whether those under whose watch this happened were derelict in their duty. Conditions on the base gave rise to the type of sexual harassment Vanessa told her family she was enduring prior to her disappearance. The Army staff at Fort Hood, up to the highest ranking officer must be held accountable without excuse or exception.

LULAC is proud of its 91-year history of Latinas defending the civil rights of other women of color confronting oppression, discrimination, misogyny, assaults, rapes and yes, even death simply because their gender makes them a target! Gloria, the women of LULAC heard you and will not stop until Vanessa comes home.”

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