netflix-posts-trailer-for-‘i-am-vanessa-guillen’-documentary

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“I Am Vanessa Guillen” will arrive on Netlfix Nov. 17. (Screenshot via Netflix)

Over two years after Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen was killed, Netflix has released a trailer for a documentary about her family and the events leading up to her disappearance and death at Fort Hood, Texas.

“When a young Mexican-American soldier vanishes from a U.S. Army base, her family leads an international movement to find her and expose ongoing corruption within the military ranks,” the synopsis reads. “Vanessa Guillen always dreamed of joining the U.S. Army, but after reporting being sexually harassed at Fort Hood in Texas, she disappeared.”

Guillen’s family alleged that before her death, she had been sexually harassed, and that there was a culture of negligence at Fort Hood.

“The film follows Vanessa’s sisters Lupe and Mayra as they carry her name from protests in the streets to the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and offers a behind-the-scenes look at their tenacious pursuit to change a deeply rooted, controversial military justice system,” according to the documentary synopsis.

Guillen was murdered on April 22, 2020 by another soldier, Aaron David Robinson. Her remains were not discovered for over two months.

“Vanessa’s always been the bravest one of us,” her sister, Mayra Guillén, says on camera. “Something was wrong with her the few months after she was stationed at Fort Hood.”

According to an independent Army report released Dec. 8, 2020, there were significant command climate and culture issues at Fort Hood. The report found that Guillen was sexually harassed, but not by Robinson. He had, however, also been accused of sexual harassment.

The following April, the Army completed its investigation into Fort Hood leadership, which resulted in the firing of 14 soldiers in connection with the case.

“Leaders, regardless of rank, are accountable for what happens in their units and must have the courage to speak up and intervene when they recognize actions that bring harm to our Soldiers and to the integrity of our institution,” said former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in response to the report.

I Am Vanessa Guillen” premieres on Nov. 17.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

 

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