By Mike Kinney
A candlelight vigil is set to be held in Richmond tonight in memory of murdered 20-year-old Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen. The event is set for 7 p.m. at Richmond Civic Center.
At 5:30 p.m., local car and truck clubs will hold a caravan procession that will start from the parking lot of FoodMaxx, head down Rheem Avenue to 23rd Street and end at Richmond City Hall for the vigil.
Estefany Sanchez, one of the organizer’s of the vigil, is a five-year veteran of the U.S. Army and currently a reservist. She’s helping to organize the event to honor Guillen and provide a voice for women facing sexual harassment in the military. Organizers also include her sisters-Nadia and Jacqueline, and Gonzalo Rucobo of the Richmond-based Bay Area Peacekeepers.
Guillen disappeared at Fort Hood on April 22 and her remains were found last week. Authorities say she was murdered by fellow Fort Hood soldier Aaron Robinson, who shot and killed himself when confronted by police. Guillen had complained to her family about sexual harassment on the base. The case has sparked protests calling for cultural change in the military that aim to cease sexual harassment, in part by improving the process by which victims can report abuse.