Things That Matter

‘She Would Be Proud’: Vanessa Guillen’s Sister Reflects On Netflix Doc

The new Netflix doc “I Am Vanessa Guillen” is making waves, sparking outrage as it reaches the top ten list. Now, the late U.S. Army soldier’s sister is speaking out on the documentary’s significance for the family. 

The trailer shows how the family powerfully advocated for Guillen, and pushed the military to investigate her April 2020 disappearance.

Prompting the movement #IAmVanessaGuillen on social media, millions joined together to fight for justice. 

The tragic Vanessa Guillen story

Before her death, Guillen informed her mother that she was sexually harassed by a sergeant at Fort Hood, Texas. Two months after Guillen’s disappearance, authorities found her remains buried by the Leon River.

Suspected murderer Specialist Aaron Robinson took his own life before authorities could take him into custody. Meanwhile, Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar was charged for allegedly assisting him.

Robinson was accused of sexual harassment in the past, but it is unconfirmed whether he sexually assaulted Guillen.

Sister Mayra Guillen talks about what the documentary means to them

As the family still attempts to cope with the 20-year-old’s murder, they continue to advocate for justice. Talking about the documentary, sister Mayra Guillen told 6 News, “Of course we’d give anything to have her back… I’m just glad that the world now knows in a sense.”

Guillen explained that “a lot of things were left unsaid when it was national news at some point.” Still, “Hopefully [the documentary] brings up the awareness… that we need once again to get this done.” 

About watching the documentary along with the rest of the world, the soldier’s sister said she first watched it with “a critical eye.” After making sure “it was what [they] had agreed to,” the second watch was “much more emotional.”  

Mayra talked about the worldwide significance of the Vanessa Guillen doc, explaining that she hopes it inspires “other families.”

She said, “If people can come together, great things can happen.”

On an emotional note, Guillen reflected on what her sister would think about the documentary, and the family’s tireless work. “She would definitely be super proud to see that we didn’t take no for an answer, that we didn’t let depression take over.”

The family continues to fight for others

The Guillen family continues to work for the common good, fighting for the passing of the I Am Vanessa Act. Congress signed part of the act into law last year, which outlines more protections for victims of sexual misconduct within the military.

Meanwhile, Mayra Guillen told CBS, “Grief has weird ways of working but knowing that you still have to fulfill.” She continued, “I knew inside of me I had to fulfill what we came for and I couldn’t let my emotions take over.”

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