‘I Am Vanessa Guillen’ Explained: Who Killed Vanessa, & Why?

The brand new documentary on Netflix, “I’m Vanessa Guillen,” is a pleasant heartfelt watch that equally satisfies as a lot because it makes one really feel for the tragedy. The movie follows the occasions of Vanessa Guillen, a US Military soldier who goes lacking in 2020, and the efforts of her household in making an attempt to result in authorized modifications following the abhorrent incident. Whereas Vanessa’s story is little doubt very gut-wrenching, it is usually inspiring to think about what the Guillens truly achieved and the toil they went via to take action. “I’m Vanessa Guillen” maintains that spirit and is an attention-grabbing watch total.

Who Was Vanessa Guillen? What Had Occurred With Her?

Ever since her very childhood, Vanessa was extraordinarily decided in no matter she did, and one of many issues she genuinely needed to change into was a part of the US Military. Though she was born and introduced up in Houston, Vanessa’s dad and mom have been each Mexican immigrants who had settled within the US owing to their career. Though her mom, Gloria, felt that her daughter’s ambition of becoming a member of the military was extra of a childhood dream, Vanessa actually had her eyes set on this and was able to defy all odds to meet this dream. As many round her, together with her shut associates and sisters, reminded Vanessa, she was not solely a lady however was of Hispanic ethnicity, making her being chosen for the US Military an especially tough ordeal. However the girl, a younger grownup on the time, was lifeless severe about it and enlisted herself for service within the military as quickly as she turned eighteen. After finishing her boot camp coaching interval at Fort Jackson, Vanessa was stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. She and her total household have been joyful that she had achieved her dream and would even be serving near house in the identical state of Texas. All was properly as Vanessa joined the service as a weapons repairer, however issues began to vary steadily over time when she began to inform her mom and older sister that every thing was not nearly as good within the military because it appeared from the skin.

In April 2020, many members of the military have been being despatched off obligation as a result of spreading COVID-19 virus outbreak, as Vanessa’s elder sister Mayra remembers, however on April 22, Vanessa was requested to report for obligation at Fort Hood. In a devastating flip of destiny, this present day was the final time Vanessa was seen by her household, and by anybody for that matter. Whereas her household, associates, and even fiancée saved making an attempt to get in contact with the lady, Vanessa didn’t reply to messages or choose up any calls. When Mayra known as the bottom to inquire about her sister, the person in cost solely knowledgeable her that Vanessa had been lacking since round 1 within the afternoon on that day. As extra time handed, Mayra and Vanessa’s fiancé, Juan, grew extra involved and determined to go to the military base to search out solutions about her whereabouts. Extra days handed with no hint of Vanessa, and the officers on the base have been initially reluctant to cooperate both. Nevertheless, owing to Mayra and her household’s efforts, the matter quickly gained traction on social media and information channels, and protests have been held in opposition to the military’s lackluster efforts. The US Military base at Fort Hood was already infamous for incidents of sexual assault and misbehavior and had a horrible repute for having a robust command tradition, which means that members needed to abide by the legal guidelines and orders set by their greater officers, even within the worst of eventualities. The bottom had already had two cases of mass shootings, numerous mysterious deaths of troopers, and even a intercourse racket scandal. It was sadly no surprise that Vanessa herself had additionally informed her mom that she had confronted sexual misbehavior on the place, together with another feminine members, however there was no approach she may take any motion. Whereas all of this was reported to military personnel by the household, the military’s Prison Investigation Command (CID) carried out an investigation and denied any findings of sexual assault. This investigation additionally befell virtually two months after Vanessa had gone lacking when the commander of the bottom appeared in a public video saying that they’d began a search to search out the lacking girl. An unbiased non-public search group had additionally been employed by the Guillen household by this time, and it was lastly on June 30 that the stays of the lady have been discovered at a spot by the Leon River. Vanessa had been murdered by a hammer strike on the again of her head, and her physique had then been dismembered and burned earlier than being buried on the spot.

Who Had Killed Vanessa Guillen? And Why?

The identification of the prime suspect was quickly revealed, and it occurred to be a specialist-ranked soldier by the title of Aaron Robinson, who had additionally been the final particular person to have seen Vanessa. Whereas he had informed the interrogators earlier that he had met Vanessa inside the bottom for some work and had then parted methods, extra incriminating data was discovered from his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar. It was Aguilar who informed the investigators that Robinson had murdered Vanessa inside the bottom and had then taken her assist to dismember the physique. Aguilar was a part of the method, too, when the younger girl’s physique was butchered into items after which cremated and buried. Whereas the military police shortly arrested Cecily, Aaron was already being held on the time for having damaged COVID protocols. Nevertheless, the military officers failed to tell the person holding him that he was additionally the prime suspect within the ongoing homicide case. As Robinson was allowed to maintain his telephone with himself, his girlfriend despatched him information articles in regards to the discovery of the stays, and Robinson managed to free himself from custody. Following this, he tried getting away from the military base, and when the police caught up with him, Aaron Robinson pulled out a gun and killed himself. It was now not possible to deliver Vanessa’s assassin to justice, and the one particular person punishable was Cecily Aguilar.

It was most presumably due to incidents of sexual harassment and her complaints in opposition to them that Vanessa Guillen misplaced her life. Whereas the US Military initially saved saying that it had discovered no proof of any sexual harassment, on this case, it was later confirmed in Might 2021 that Vanessa had certainly filed two verbal complaints of sexual harassment in 2019. These data talked about {that a} superior official had as soon as approached her for an act of threesome, after which this identical superior approached her later when Vanessa was performing private hygiene within the woods throughout a subject coaching train. Each these complaints had no impact in anyway, and as a substitute, Vanessa had informed her associates and different superiors that she was afraid of retaliation in opposition to her as a consequence of these complaints. Though the military continued and nonetheless continues to disclaim that this official was Aaron Robinson, everybody else is fairly certain that this was certainly the case. Vanessa had earlier complained about Robinson’s character, and the person additionally had an earlier document of sexual assault in opposition to a distinct girl soldier. However confirming that such incidents had occurred between the person and Vanessa would verify that her dying was as a consequence of a case of sexual harassment, and this is able to deliver extra flak to the already tainted repute of Fort Hood.

The official motive said on this case is just not one thing that the documentary movie mentions, however as offered in Might of 2022, it says that Vanessa had seen Aguilar’s image on Robinson’s telephone, and the person was scared that she would report him for this since Aguilar was the estranged spouse of one other soldier within the base and the military has strict guidelines in opposition to fraternization. It was for this, Aguilar supposedly stated, that Robinson had smashed a hammer in opposition to Vanessa’s head, killing her and burying his secret affair along with her.

How Did The Guillen Household Deliver About A A lot-Wanted Change In The Legal guidelines?

Following her disappearance and the invention of Vanessa’s destiny, her mom and sisters determined to do their finest to make sure that such horrible incidents didn’t occur to anybody else ever once more. The issue in instances like that is that US legal guidelines pertaining to the military assist the chain of command that’s a part of the army. To place it merely, this meant that it doesn’t matter what case was being filed and fought pertaining to members of the military, it was the commander who had the utmost energy to resolve what was going to occur and the way the investigation into such a case could be carried out. This may, virtually at all times, make sure that actual perpetrators of crimes obtained away and sexual assault and harassment within the military turned a quite common occurring. The essential resolution of whether or not to prosecute somebody and truly maintain the legal case was additionally taken by the commander, who would, most of the time, dismiss instances to maintain the repute of the military and their base intact. This regulation was what the Guillen household basically needed to vary, ensuring that perpetrators have been held accountable for their acts even when they have been a part of the military. Vanessa’s elder sister employed Natalie Khawam as their legal professional, as she had diversified expertise in representing folks wronged by members of the military. Along with Natalie’s assist, Mayra Guillen met with erstwhile President Donald Trump on the Oval Workplace, and he promised them that the Division of Justice and the FBI have been doing their finest to analyze the matter and that he and his administration would look to the top of such injustice. In public appeals to the lots, too, Mayra stated that their pursuit for justice for her sister was not a problem to be made about politics or race, issues that have been immensely in public dialog on the time, however that it was on the very primary humanitarian grounds.

Within the meantime, Mayra and her youthful sister Lupe additionally saved a detailed eye on one other growth with regard to the one perpetrator being convicted on this case, Cecily Aguilar. The girl was now taking again all of the confessions she had earlier made and was stating that Aaron Robinson had held her at gunpoint when she had helped him dismember and cremate Vanessa’s physique. Cecily was principally making an attempt to say that she had been pressured into committing the acts for which she was being charged, however the courtroom determined in any other case and refused to acquit her. Nevertheless, as “I’m Vanessa Guillen” states at its very finish, Cecily Aguilar’s trial date is being repeatedly delayed, and he or she has been pleading not responsible for all this time.

‘I Am Vanessa Guillen’ Defined: What Was The Aftermath Of The Guillen Household’s Protests?

Ever since Vanessa had gone lacking and accounts of her sexual harassment complaints have been put up on social media, a marketing campaign known as “#IAmVanessaGuillen” began to development on Twitter, with innumerable folks placing up their very own accounts of getting confronted sexual harassment whereas working within the military or by members of the military. Help for Vanessa’s household’s trigger began to come back from outdoors of the US too, and Vanessa Guillen has by now change into virtually an emblem of victims of military misdemeanors. Mayra and her group have been rooting for a invoice titled “I’m Vanessa Guillen,” which might hand over the accountability of conducting investigations and courtroom trials for instances associated to members of the military to an unbiased third-party prosecutor, taking away the facility from the military commander. Whereas they confronted hardships and needed to put in a lot effort to steamroll the priority into the Senate, they discovered supporters in vital and highly effective folks alongside the way in which too. Lastly, in January 2022, lawmakers agreed handy instances of army sexual assault over to an unbiased prosecutor, taking away energy from the army’s chain of command. The brand new president, Joe Biden, signed the chief order making sexual harassment a acknowledged offense within the Uniform Code of Navy Justice. Whereas folks like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who herself has been making an attempt for years to do away with the autonomy of the army chain of command in such instances, have said that this new regulation solely successfully offers an unbiased prosecutor the choice of whether or not to prosecute or not, it’s nonetheless agreed that this primary step is historic too.

The tragic homicide of their sister in such an unjust method additionally vastly affected the lives of the Guillen sisters. Lupe needed to finally step away from the courtroom instances and protests to return to her schooling. She has graduated from highschool since then and now hopes to pursue a profession in journalism. On the opposite aspect, Mayra’s wholehearted efforts in making an attempt to cease the authorities from sweeping her sister’s case below the rug have made her desirous about full-time activism, and he or she now hopes to enter a lifetime of politics within the close to future. Sadly, instances of military or army injustice, particularly in opposition to girls, should not unusual in any a part of the world, however tales like that of Vanessa Guillen most likely additionally encourage the assumption that evil can certainly be fought and adjusted one step at a time.

“I’m Vanessa Guillen” is a 2022 Crime Documentary movie directed by Christy Wegener.


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