The US punishes 14 of its military personnel for creating an environment that tolerates sexual abuse

15 minutes. The US Army announced on Tuesday the dismissal or suspension of 14 military personnel, two of them generals, for having created a “permissive environment for sexual abuse and harassment” at the Fort Hood (Texas) military base.

At that military base, soldier Vanessa Guillén was murdered eight months ago.

The disciplinary measures are the result of an investigation in reaction to the murder of Guillén, 20 years old.

The girl disappeared on April 22, after having told her family that she had been sexually harassed by one of her sergeants.

His remains were found on June 30, two months after his disappearance. His alleged murderer, Aaron David Robinson, a partner at the base, committed suicide when police came to question him.

In a press conference, the Secretary of the Army, Ryand McCarthy, admitted that the investigation into the death of the young soldier identified “serious flaws in the mechanisms to deal with complaints of sexual harassment and abuse, and a climate that tolerates such abuses” .

“I am deeply disappointed because the commanders have not treated the soldiers with due respect,” added the official, who announced that as of May, new rules will be applied in the Army for the handling of cases of sexual harassment and abuse, and for the expeditious location of the absent soldiers.

Violent deaths

Among the sanctioned officers is General Scott Effland, who was in command of the Fort Hood base when Guillen disappeared. And General Jeffrey Broadwater, commander of the First Cavalry Division at the same military base.

McCarthy had ordered the formation of an investigative commission headed by five civilians in mid-July. For months they conducted interviews and reviewed documentation in Fort hood.

That commission published a report on Tuesday in which they affirm that the sanctioned military created a “permissive environment for sexual harassment” in Fort Hood.

This year at least 31 soldiers at that base have died in violent circumstances or accidents.

Guillén’s death drew public attention to the persistence of sexual harassment within the Armed Forces.

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