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Local

Protest for justice for slain soldier Vanessa Guillen to be held Sunday in DeKalb

Mellisa Mendoza places white roses at a mural for U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen in Austin, Texas, on Monday. Guillen went missing from Fort Hood in April, and is believed to have been killed by another soldier. The mural was created Saturday and Sunday by artists Fili Mendieta and Arturo Silva.
Mellisa Mendoza places white roses at a mural for U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen in Austin, Texas, on Monday. Guillen went missing from Fort Hood in April, and is believed to have been killed by another soldier. The mural was created Saturday and Sunday by artists Fili Mendieta and Arturo Silva.

DeKALB – A peaceful protest for justice for Vanessa Guillen will be held 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Park in DeKalb, located at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and First Street.

Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was last seen April 22 in a parking lot outside of her barracks in Fort Hood, Texas. Her remains were found June 30.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Posters will be available or bring your own. Face masks are suggested to be worn. Water will be provided.

Brenda Hernandez of Rochelle, the event’s organizer, decided to host the peaceful protest because Guillen’s murder “hit close to home.”

“I am a Hispanic woman with two daughters,” she said. “When I was younger, I was in the JROTC program in Texas, but I did not go into the Army. … Her family is from the same state in Mexico as my father’s family, Zacatecas. It just really hits close to home.”

Hernandez said speaking out together as a community about sexual harassment is important.

“It’s important that people speak out, ask for answers and investigate any situation like this or when you think something is wrong,” Hernandez said. “We need to be united and get together. We shouldn’t be afraid. We need to speak out and should have a fair way to report sexual harassment, whether at a job or in the military, wherever you are. [Vanessa Guillen] served her country. We owe her that.”

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