For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressional Hispanic Caucus Second Vice Chair Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) released the following statement after leading the CHC member meeting with the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Army and senior Army officials to discuss the recent solider deaths at Army bases, their diversity and inclusion efforts, and renaming Army bases that honor Confederate soldiers:
“Today, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus conveyed our collective outrage to senior Army officials over recent murders, including Latino servicemembers Spc. Vanessa Guillén and Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez, and the need for justice. Sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. Armed Forces continues to be a pervasive challenge, and fear of retaliation remains a significant barrier to accountability. From Fort Hood to Fort Bragg, there are clearly systemic issues in the chain of command that must be addressed and a lack of transparency that must be improved.
“We discussed the stark lack of Latino representation in senior leadership. Latinos are over 18-percent of the U.S. population, but only 8-percent of U.S. military officers and a mere 1-percent of Generals and Admirals. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus expressed the importance of considering Latino heroes when renaming all the bases and installations honoring Confederate leaders. We also emphasized the contributions of immigrants serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the need to streamline the naturalization process for servicemembers and their families.
“CHC Members appreciate this productive meeting with senior Army leadership and their service to our nation. We look forward to working together to strengthen the U.S. Army for the American people.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.