The Murder of Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz

Ana Ruiz Basaldua grew up in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, with her mother Alejandra Zarco Ruiz and sister. As she got older, she became known for being disciplined, neat, organized, and active with her friends and family. She particularly loved the smell of lavender, as well as plants and flowers. She was an avid reader since a young age, and Paulo Coelho was one of her favorite authors.

In July 2021, Ana finally began her training as part of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 91st Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, after her contract was set to be completed in August and she was assigned to the battalion for 15 months. However, her training was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, so she remained in Mexico with her sister and mother. She then enlisted in the Army and moved to the United States. In 2020, Ana’s father, Ubaldo Basaldua, became a naturalized US citizen. She now resides in Long Beach, California.

She no longer feels comfortable there, but everyone wants me to sleep with them except for assholes.

She told me that she was very sad, that a lot of very strong things were happening, that things were not as normal as I thought, that she couldn’t tell me much, but that there was going to be a moment when we were going to be together and she could say everything.”

Alejandra Ruiz Zarco, mother of Ana Basaldua Ruiz (People Magazine)

On Saturday, March 11, 2023, Father Ubaldo talked to Ana, who said she felt tired, frustrated, and bad. She also expressed to him that she no longer felt comfortable in her whole life and wanted to die. The next day, he texted Ana, but never received any response. However, he continued to send her messages, even though they now remained undelivered. On Monday, March 13, he went to check her satellite location, which appeared to be based on a pin in a park.

Ana’s mother has also expressed doubt about the military’s claims that her daughter died by suicide.

On March 17, the Military Investigators at Fort Hood have stated that no suspicious activity was suspected regarding Ana’s death. In relation to her passing, the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the chain of command are currently conducting a thorough investigation into the details and situation.

Ubaldo and Alejandra have expressed their grievances in separate interviews regarding the insufficient information provided to them by the military. Ana’s mother has applied for a three-month humanitarian visa to travel to the United States in order to await the outcome of the investigation into Ana’s death.

The Independent Review Committee also found a significant underreporting of sexual assaults within the enlisted ranks, where a deficient “climate” of fear and lack of confidence contributed. In fact, there were 23 recorded deaths on that base alone in the same year. In 2020, Vanessa Guillen was brutally bludgeoned to death at the base. Fort Hood has a rare history of mysterious deaths and sexual harassment incidents.