East LA mural honors the life of slain soldier Vanessa Guillen

A mural in East Los Angeles honors the life of Fort Hood slain soldier Vanessa Guillen.
CITY TERRACE, EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- East Los Angeles remembers the life of Fort Hood slain soldier Vanessa Guillen with a mural in the community of City Terrace.

"When I saw the news, I felt the pain of her mother. So I thought it was very appropriate to do my part using what I do, which is painting... to paint a tribute here in my community," said Juan Solis, a muralist.

Solis is painting it on the wall of the Zacatecas Federation of Southern California building near City Terrace Drive and Miller Avenue. The organization is a nonprofit that helps people from Zacatecas, Mexico, which is the home state of Guillen's family.

The idea behind the mural is to raise consciousness in the community and with political leaders.
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Desesperada, esta madre exige justicia y saber que le pasó a su hijo, Enrique Roman Martinez de Chino, California, un soldado estadounidense cuyos restos descuartizados quedaron a la deriva a orillas de una isla fuera de la costa de Carolina del Norte.

"These crimes cannot be happening," said Guadalupe Gomez, president of the nonprofit organization. "What are we going to tell our young kids who have the dream to serve this country and to defend this country? When we see all soldiers being killed."

Solis, who was born in Zacatecas and raised in Boyle Heights, is about halfway done painting the mural and will add a combination of two flags at the top, the United States and Mexico.

"Because to me those are a representation of who we are, you know, we are part of different countries, but they need to be together, not separated," said Solis.

Once the mural is complete, the nonprofit plans to unveil it in late August.

"To me, as a person from Zacatecas it has a special meaning in my heart," said Solis. "So when I approached the federacion to give me the opportunity to showcase my work here... I thought it was the perfect wall to do a mural because there is no other place as beautiful as this one here."

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