WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Vanessa Guillen is a name that can spark mixed emotions for many in Wichita. Residents of all ages joined early Saturday morning to protest on her family’s behalf.
The organizers of the event tell KSN the primary goal of this ‘peaceful protest’ was to help Vanessa Guillen’s family and fight for a solution.
Guillen is a 20-year-old army soldier who vanished Wednesday while stationed at Fort Hood. Detectives recovered some of her personal belongings including her keys and identification card in her armory room where she used to work.
“It hits home. Unfortunately, it’s very sad and it’s very disappointing because she was an American as well,” said Jennifer Retana, organizer of Vanessa Guillenprotest. Not just because she was Mexican-American or Hispanic, it’s just it’s unfortunate it shouldn’t be happening.”
With tears in their eyes and frustration in their voices, protesters marched down Rock Road to McConnell Airforce Base in hoping to send a message.
“What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
“We wanted to stand here and ask for justice, ask for a Congressional investigation on the case of Vanessa,” said Retana.
Jennifer Retarna said they decided to hold a peaceful protest for Guillen after seeing a lack of interest for her case.
“Nothing was going on. Obviously, we were hoping that she was found safe and sound. That didn’t happen, so we decided it was too long,” said Retarma. “We were waiting too long, and it’s not okay.”
Retana says she hopes more people become informed of Vanessa’s case and understand why her family is pleading for justice.
Organizers say although this was her first protest, she was delighted with the outcome and plans to continue creating these protests until the Guillen family receives justice.