” The army pledged today to ask the country’s Defense Department to investigate criminal acts that ended the life of the soldier Vanessa Guillén , in addition to the sexual harassment accusations that have been presented within Fort Hood, “said Garcia.
The congresswoman also noted that McCarthy told them that she will create an independent commission to investigate all cases of sexual harassment of other victims within the military base.
“We believe that the Vanessa Guillén case opened a door for many other women belonging to the country’s army to begin to raise their voices and denounce the constant sexual harassment and abuse that are committed within the military institution. We have many testimonies that have reached us through social networks“Garcia said, noting that many of the victims have been afraid to speak, as was the case with Guillén.
The congresswoman indicated that Guillén is not the only crime case within Fort Hood, mentioning the soldier Gregory Morales, disappeared in 2019 and whose remains were found on June 21.
“We know that like Guillén and Morales, there are other cases, so it is necessary for that base to be thoroughly investigated,” argued García.
For his part, Domingo García, national president of LULAC, the largest civil rights organization for Hispanics in the United States, indicated that McCarthy had directly asked him for recommendations on the people who could form that independent commission.
“We will be sending the names of 2 or 3 specialist, independent people to the military so they can be part of the investigation being sought at Fort Hood.”
García emphasized that the creation of the commission can take between 3 to 6 months, but the important thing is that the first steps have already been taken to put the military base in order.
Change of names of US military bases
The LULAC President said they had spoken to McCarthy about the need to change the name of the country’s 10 military bases that are named as a tribute to Confederate leaders, an idea that, according to him, was supported by the secretary of the army.
“We proposed the name of Sgt. Raúl Pérez ‘Roy’ Benavidez, one of our Hispanic heroes who fought in the Vietnam War. Secretary McCarthy told us that he agrees to change the names that the bases currently have, but it is a process legal that must be consolidated in Congress and that we are sure will be seen in January 2021, “added Garcia.
The director indicated that another of the topics discussed during the meeting with McCarthy was the promotion of rank for Hispanics within the military institution.
“We express to the secretary our concern that sometimes our Hispanic soldiers do not access grades of sergeants or generals. He promised to review those cases,” he said, noting that they also spoke of veteran Hispanic soldiers who have been deported for minor crimes.
“We believe that any soldier who has served the nation and who has been deported for drug or alcohol use should be returned to this country,” he argued.
Call for victims of sexual harassment in the military
Likewise, Sindy Benavides, CEO of LULAC, invited all victims of sexual harassment from Fort Hood or any other military base in the country, to contact their organization to join cases and present them to the eventual commission that It will be created.
“We know that many military women suffer sexual harassment and abuse by their superiors, but also We know that 3 out of 4 victims do not report due to fear and that these situations continue to increase in many corners of the country.“Benavides argued.