Things That Matter

Telemundo’s New Bilingual Podcast Series Reveals the Truth From Events Surrounding Vanessa Guillen’s Death

Courtesy Telemundo Network News

The disappearance and murder of Private First Class Vanessa Guillen in 2020 caused the nation to bluntly confront harassment and violence against women in the U.S. military as well as the culture of permissiveness that allows it to happen, unchecked. And over a year after the case of Vanessa Guillen gripped the nation, Americans are still trying to process her death.

Now, Noticias Telemundo and The Story Lab have launched a bilingual podcast series entitled “Fort Hood: The Vanessa Guillen Case.”

The seven-part series is devoted to examining the events that led up to Guillen’s death as well as its lasting cultural impact.

The podcast is unlike others both in its production and storytelling choices. The bilingual podcast series has both a Spanish and English version and is narrated by Mexican actress Cecilia Suarez (who you may have seen in Netflix’s “La Casa de Las Flores”). Suarez tells the bone chilling story of Guillen with the intelligent, compassionate voice of someone who truly cares about Guillen’s legacy.

On April 23, 2020, a commissioned officer reported 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen missing from the Fort Hood military base in Texas to U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Guillen hadn’t been seen or heard from since the previous day. Knowing how much Guillen was struggling to acclimate to the harsh culture of Fort Hood, her family was worried about her.

Before she disappeared, Guillen confided in friends and family members, letting them know she was being sexually harassed by fellow military personnel.

“My sister Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed yet nothing was done,” her sister, Lupe Guillen, said at a news conference in July. “She deserves respect. She deserves to be heard because if this can happen to my sister, it can happen to anyone else.”

While the CID conducted an investigation into Guillen’s disappearance, the Guillen family was kept completely in the dark about the happenings.

As the weeks passed and Guillen was still nowhere to be found, the Guillen family publicly condemned Fort Hood leadership for the conspiracy of silence around sexual abuse and harassment. Politicians, celebrities, and other public figures drew attention to the case, criticizing the military for their handling of it.

In June 2020, Guillen’s remains were found near the Leon River. Aaron David Robinson, the primary person of interest, killed himself when authorities closed in on him. His accomplice, girlfriend Cecily Anne Aguilar, was indicted on 11 counts relating to Guillen’s death.

“Fort Hood: The Vanessa Guillen Case” takes a deep-dive exploration into the contemporary issues that permeated Guillen’s case.

The podcast series touches on the #MeToo movement and how it informed the media’s coverage of the case, including the unique challenges that Latina soldiers face in the military and its ubiquitous culture of sexual harassment.

The first episode of “Fort Hood: The Vanessa Guillen Case,” aired on October 28, and follows the events leading up to Guillen’s disappearance.

With exclusive interviews of Guillen’s close family and friends, the series offers never before seen insight into the private life of Vanessa Guillen.

Listen to the first episode of “Fort Hood: The Vanessa Guillen Case,” in English or Spanish, on any platform podcasts are available.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com