Thursday, September 23

Former Fort Hood captain questions official investigation into the murder of Vanessa Guillén

A mobilization to demand justice for Vanessa Guillén at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Rich Fury / Getty Images

WASHINGTON – A former captain in the Fort Hood (Texas) Army battalion in which Vanessa Guillén, killed in 2020 allegedly by a colleague from the military base, was reviewing, has claimed that the focus on sexual harassment that dominated the investigation into the homicide of the soldier was a distraction.

“This has been used as a distraction to cover the fact that, basically, there is no physical security in the garrison,” said Alex Cook, who, he said, recently left the Army where he was captain in the Regiment. 3 Cavalry.

Guillén, 20 years old, disappeared in April 2020 after he had communicated to his family that he was being sexually harassed by one of his sergeants.

His mutilated remains were found weeks later near the Leon River, in Texas, where they were buried by their alleged murderer, one of their companions at the base, Aaron David Robinson, who committed suicide when police came to question him.

The case of Guillén, of Mexican descent, attracted national attention and exposed the need for changes in the way in which the Armed Forces investigate cases of sexual abuse and harassment.

Congress continues evaluation of the Vanessa Guillén Law

Earlier this month the president, Joe Biden, said he supports a reform of the investigations of sexual abuse in the Armed Forces, and Congress is considering a law – named after Vanessa Guillén – that would modify those procedures.

In his video, Cook noted that the Army’s focus on Guillén’s harassment sidestepped a crucial issue: the lack of surveillance in the area where the soldier was killed and at other, supposedly protected, Fort Hood sites.

Qualifies as “farce” independent committee report

Cook, who accompanied the video with a full transcript of his statement, called it “a sham.” the findings of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (FHIRC), and the investigation carried out by the Army in compliance with its regulation 15-6.

“The punishments that resulted from the FHIRC and 15-6 investigation and that you may have seen or heard on the news are a smokescreen to cover the failures of the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and the Office of Public Relations ( PAO) from Fort Hood, ”Cook said.

“This is not to say that sexual harassment and assault are not a problem,” he added. “However, this is used as a distraction due to the lack of cameras and other security concerns.”

Cook said PAO failed to allow coverage of Guillén’s death on social media to generalize the idea that nothing was being done to locate the soldier.

“Within 24 hours (of the disappearance report) I was crawling through the sewers,” he said. “We look everywhere. We had aircraft with heat detectors. If there had been something at Fort Hood, as small as a paper clip, we would have found it. “

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