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LULAC demands outside investigation in Fort Hood soldier's death

U.S. Army photo

The League of United Latin American Citizens is calling for an outside investigation into the death of a 21 year-old female soldier, as the Army says there are no signs of foul play surrounding the woman’s death.

Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz was found dead last Monday of an apparent suicide. She had previously complained to family members that she had been the target of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances on Fort Hood. LULAC spokesperson Analuisa Tapia spoke at a news conference on Friday.

We are equally concerned over the reports from her family that their daughter was the target of repeated sexual harassment like demands an immediate, full and transparent investigation into these claims. This investigation needs to start now. It must be by an outside authority,said Tapia

At a news conference earlier in the day at Fort Hood, General Sean C. Bernabe said their investigation had found no signs of foul play.

At this point in the investigation, there are no indications of foul play. So the idea is not ruling anything out and will investigate the circumstances leading up to Ana's death fully and completely.”

The death of Basaldua Ruiz has some parallels with the 2020 passing of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén. Guillén disappeared from Fort Hood after telling family she was being sexually harassed. Her body was found two and a half months later in a rural area 30 miles from the post. The soldier suspected in her killing took his own life shortly afterward.

An independent review panel later found Fort Hood to be a “permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment” and pointed out serious structural flaws in the Army’s prevention program. The Guillén case triggered a national conversation about sexual violence in the military — and legislation to change how it is handled.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.
Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame