After the confirmation of the tragic death of Army Private Vanessa Guillen, Domingo Garcia, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement:
“This is a sad and painful time for Vanessa’s family and the community and we grieve with them in the loss of this beloved daughter, sister and brave soldier. On behalf of LULAC, I want to tell Gloria, Vanessa’s mother and Mayra, her sister, that we will not rest until a full investigation is conducted by the military and changes are made so that this never happens to another soldier. For now, we pause and stand with the Guillen family in their time of sorrow and we will be with them to lay Vanessa to rest.
In a few days, LULAC is meeting with the Secretary of the Army in Washington and we are demanding that a separate, independent agency outside of the military protocol be established to investigate reports of rapes, assaults and sexual harassment some of our soldiers are being subjected to and all too often, their claims are ignored. We also know, as we hear from soldiers impacted, that there is a credible fear of reporting due to retaliation and that the majority of cases are not reported. Further, we want women to head these investigations to ensure that the message is loud and clear to every female soldier: WE WILL HEAR YOU AND WE WILL TAKE ACTION.
Also, LULAC has its website www.LULAC.org/VanessaGuillen up and running so any soldier can feel free to contact us and submit their information which we will protect and send directly to the appropriate law enforcement authority. Finally, we are urging the public to support the Guillen family during this difficult time by donating directly on the Go Fund Me page setup by Mayra: click here .