Members of the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band are among those calling for justice for murdered Fort Hood Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén. The remains of the 20-year-old soldier were found on June 30 about 20 miles away from Fort Hood. Guillen had last been seen on April 22 in the parking lot of the Army Base.
One of two suspects in the case, fellow Fort Hood soldier Aaron David Robinson, died by suicide on July 1 after being confronted by police.
The second suspect, identified as Robinson's girlfriend Cecily Aguilar, has been charged with conspiricacy to tamper with evidence. Authorities have accused Aguilar of helping Robinson dispose of Guillén's body after Robinson murdered her by hitting her in the head with a hammer.
"RIP Spc. Guillén. You deserved better," The Josh Abbott Band wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for your service, and may justice be served. #justiceforvanessaguillen
The band also spoke out about the need for more visible representation of Latino/Hispanic comunities in the media.
In posting about Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a couple themes in the comments has jumped out to me:
1) the gratitude of the Latino/Hispanic community
2) the need for more visible representation. They are ignored by the mainstream media unless the issue is border security for ratings
— Josh AbboŦŦ (@joshabbottband) July 6, 2020
"In posting about Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a couple themes in the comments has jumped out to me: 1) the gratitude of the Latino/Hispanic community 2) the need for more visible representation. They are ignored by the mainstream media unless the issue is border security for ratings," the band wrote.
The Washington Post reports that, before she went missing in April, Guillén told her family she was being sexually harassed. Her mother and sisters said Guillén was afraid to report the incidents to her chain of command on the Army Base.
Other servicemembers have said they've experienced or witnessed pressure to keep accusations of sexual harassment quiet.
"You know if it's not you, it's one of your peers who has experienced it," Martina Chesonis, an Air Force Reserve officer and director of communications for the advocacy group Service Women's Action Network, told The Washington Post. "Her murder is rare, but the experiences of sexual harassment and being afraid of reprisal -- that's not unique."
On Monday (June 6), lawmakers signed a letter from Rep. Sylvia Garcia calling for an independent investigation into Fort Hood's handling of SPC Vanessa Guillen's case.
Today, 87 of my colleagues joined me in expressing support for @RepSpeier and @SenGillibrand’s request for the @DeptofDefense Acting Inspector General to conduct an independent investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of SPC Vanessa Guillen’s case.#JusticeForVanessaGuillen pic.twitter.com/5mZJa4A2iF
— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) July 6, 2020
Over 2,500 servicewomen and veterans have signed a letter calling for an independent investigation, The Washington Post reports.
Murals honoring Spc. Guillén are being displayed across Texas, including Austin, Fort Worth and Guillén's hometown of Houston.
View this post on Instagram
Candles and flowers are placed in front of a mural in Austin, TX, of Vanessa Guillen, a soldier based at nearby Fort Hood who went missing in April; her remains were identified this week. A suspect in her case appeared in court yesterday, and Guillen's family has called for a congressional investigation into her death. #vanessaguillen #forthood #texas #usarmy #usmilitarty