Where Is Vanessa Guillén’s Family Now? Her Mom & Sisters Are Fighting For Justice


In April 2020, Vanessa Guillén was murdered at Fort Hood — allegedly by Aaron David Robinson, a fellow soldier. However, it was weeks before her disappearance was solved, and her body was found. During the time in between, Guillén’s family members were vocal in their search for the 20-year-old service member and even used their platform to advocate for victims of sexual harassment in the military. As her family explains in Netflix’s I Am Vanessa Guillén documentary, out Nov. 17, Vanessa had recently revealed that she’d been harassed herself.

After authorities discovered that Guillén had been murdered, her family didn’t find traditional justice. Robinson died by suicide after escaping from detainment, and his former girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, who was charged with “helping to hide the body and impeding the investigation,” per The New York Times, has still not gone to trial for her alleged connection to the crime.

Still, Guillén’s family has found ways to honor the late soldier’s legacy — and prevent service members like her from going through the same thing in the future. During the I Am Vanessa Guillén documentary, we see where each member of the family is today. Gloria, the family matriarch, says that she’s been facing health challenges in the wake of her daughter’s death. “For us, sickness came after the storm,” she says in Spanish.

Mayra Guillén is the family’s oldest daughter, described in the documentary as a “second mom.” Since her sister’s death, she and Lupe Guillén, the family’s youngest daughter, have been pursuing legislative action to make it safer for service members to report sexual harassment. This originally came in the form of the I Am Vanessa Guillén Act of 2020, which received support from then-President Trump but ultimately didn’t reach the floor. However, a revised version of the act was supported by President Biden the following year and was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law.

According to the documentary, the Guillén sisters are also looking ahead — Mayra toward a potential political career, and Lupe, a recent high school graduate, to pursuing journalism and college. This year, the family also filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Army for Guillén’s wrongful death.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org.



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