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Commanders "Covering Up": Vanessa's Family Demands Congressional Investigation

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO
Commanders "Covering Up": Vanessa's Family Demands Congressional Investigation



U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee



U.S. House Armed Services Committee




"They lied to our faces every single day...They're covering up for each other."

The main suspect in the murder of Vanessa Guillen has been identified as Aaron David Robinson, Vanessa's squad leader. He has died by suicide, but he did not act alone - commanders at Fort Hood have been accused of "covering" for him. 

According to the family's lawyer, the army has been “evasive” and “disingenuous" when responding to the family's requests for information.

“Protocol was breached in every manner...everything we were given was lies.” 

The man believed to be Vanessa's murderer has been identified as her squad leader, Aaron David Robinson.

Robinson, who fled the base and reportedly died by suicide, was named as a potential suspect by Vanessa's family. The military's "investigation" had been going on for over a month, but it took intervention on the part of Vanessa's family for any arrests to be made.

“We informed the command...of who we believe it is and why,” said Natalie Kwaham, the family's lawyer, at a press conference with the family in Washington. “From there it seemed like the search went quicker, you know, 60 days and all of a sudden we have someone in custody. Last night they issued a BOLO [Be on the Lookout alert] and that person ran off the base as we understand, on foot, and [died by suicide] when they came up to him.” 

“And that, unfortunately, does not provide us much information about how this happened, why this happened," said Kawham. "And we will never know what happened until we get a congressional investigation."

Vanessa's sister Mayra says she actually interacted with Robinson when she was on base meeting with military investigators. When she asked him about her sister, he laughed in her face.

But, Robinson did not act alone.

In addition to the two other suspects in custody, one of who is his Robinson's estranged wife, two of his commaders, Aaron Wheeler and Jason Wesbrock, have been accused of covering for him.

A soldier who served under Commander Wheeler says he has a history of sexual assault.

According to the family's lawyer, not only has the army been "evasive" and "disingenous" in their mishandling of Vanessa's search and investigation, officials outright lied, falsely accounting for Vanessa the day of her disappearance. "Everything we were given was lies."

“Protocol was breached in every manner,” says Khawam, noting that multiple personnel were required to be in the armory where Vanessa was working that day, yet, "no one saw anything," says Vanessa's sister Lupe.

The army also claims there is no security camera footage.

Since then, the army has finally revealed the details of Vanessa's grisly murder, which took place in the armory room where she was working, the day that she disappeared.

According to Khawam, the army briefed her family on the evidence, which included "blood splashed all over the room."

This information calls into question the transparency and sincerity of the army's investigation. If there was blood "all over the armory room," how was it that "foul play" was not suspected until recently?

A motive has not yet been confirmed, but Vanessa's family says Robinson was one of the men sexually harassing Vanessa, even following her into the showers on one occasion. The army denies that Vanessa was being sexually harassed, saying there is no evidence to support the allegations.

"The lied to our faces every single day!" cried Lupe at a press conference. "They didn't keep my sister safe. They're covering up for each other."

"How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she was on duty? How could they let it go like nothing?"
"They take sexual harassment, sexual assault like a joke. Just see the hashtag #iamvanessaguillen, all those men and women suffering from sexual harassment, sexual assault. And they take it as a joke. My sister is no joke! My sister is a human being!"
"AND I WANT JUSTICE! AND I WANT ANSWERS! MY SISTER DESERVES JUSTICE. That's why we DEMAND a congressional investigation."

"They take sexual assault as a joke. My sister is no joke! My sister is a human being! AND I WANT ANSWERS! AND I WANT...

Posted by LatinLive on Wednesday, July 1, 2020


In addition to demanding a Congressional investigation, the family's lawyer has called on the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, to personally support an investigation into Fort Hood.

"We will not stop until they are in jail," says Lupe. "I want Fort Hood Army base shut down."



Reporting by Olivia Cristina Delgado
IG: @oliviacristinadelgado
Twitter: @olivdelgadodice


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