A Hispanic rights group in the United States has called for an investigation into the death of a Mexican-American soldier who was the target of sexual harassment at a military base where a similar death occurred in 2020 under similar circumstances.
Ana Basaldua Royce, 20, was found dead on March 13 at Fort Hood, the major Texas military base where she served, according to a statement from the base’s press office.
“We are concerned about reports from her family that her daughter was frequently sexually harassed,” said Ana Luisa Tapia, local spokeswoman for the Association of Hispanic United Citizens.
The organization calls for an “immediate, full and transparent investigation into these allegations. Investigations must begin immediately.”
For her part, Alejandra Ruiz, the young woman’s mother, told Telemundo TV that her daughter told her that “Sergent molested her.” She added that she was officially told that her daughter “hung herself”, but she did not believe it.
In a second statement released on Thursday, the military base’s press office said there was “no clear criminal act” but that investigators will seek to establish what “definitely happened” and that “information related to possible prosecution will be fully investigated.” “.
The incident took place at the same military base where 20-year-old service member Vanessa Guillén, also Mexican-American, was killed in April 2020 after alleging sexual harassment. Her mutilated body was eventually found two months after her death near the base.
Dozens of military personnel were fired after her death, and demonstrations were organized to demand an end to impunity for sexual crimes committed by military personnel.
U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January 2022 to reform military justice to make sexual assault committed in the military a crime, not just a violation.
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