Vanessa Guillén’s sister says family still don’t know truth about soldier’s death, following alleged sexual harassment at military base

James Crump
·2-min read
A banner with the image of slain Army Secialist Vanessa Guillen and #IAmVanessaGuillen is displayed before the start of a news conference on the National Mall in Washington, DC on 30 July ((Associated Press))
A banner with the image of slain Army Secialist Vanessa Guillen and #IAmVanessaGuillen is displayed before the start of a news conference on the National Mall in Washington, DC on 30 July ((Associated Press))

The sister of murdered Army specialist Vanessa Guillén has said that her family still do not know the truth about her death.

The latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, featured Guillén’s mother and two sisters in conversation with music legend Gloria Estefan, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan.

During the episode, which premiered on Wednesday morning on Facebook Watch, the Guillén family spoke about her death and said that they are still looking for answers.

“We still don’t even know the truth, why would they do this to an innocent person?…Killed her and after she’s killed, just do all that stuff to her (that) I can’t even say.

“Why? That's my question every single day, why? Why? Why her?” her sister, Lupe Guillén said.

Speaking in Spanish, Lupe added: “And I ask to God: Why her? Out of everyone in existence, why did they do that to her?”

A report by the Army earlier this month said that Guillén, 20, was conducting her assigned duties at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, when a fellow soldier killed her in April.

She was listed as missing for six weeks before her remains were eventually found on July 1 near the base.

Her remains were discovered when police spoke to specialist Aaron Robinson, who killed himself during the confrontation.

A civilian has been accused of helping him dispose of Guillén's body, but pleaded not guilty to destruction of evidence. She is currently awaiting trial.

After Guillén’s family said that the soldier who killed her had sexually harassed her, the hashtag #IAMVANESSAGUILLEN was used by military sexual assault survivors to denounce their experiences on social media.

In July, US Army officials said that they had found no evidence that the soldier had sexually harassed Guillén, but her family said that the 20-year-old had told them that she was planning on filing a complaint against her alleged harasser.

During the Red Table Talk episode on Wednesday, Guillén’s mother reiterated that her daughter told her that there was a culture of sexual harassment at the military base.

Speaking in Spanish, Gloria Guillén said: “They harass girls and they don't speak up out of fear.”

Separate investigations into Guillén’s death are ongoing, including a criminal probe and an independent review into the command’s response when she disappeared.

Last month, a bipartisan group of US representatives introduced the “I am Vanessa Guillén Act” into Congress, according to CNN.

The bill would make sexual harassment a crime within the Uniform Code of Military Justice and move decisions on prosecution out of the military chain of command.

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