Private Antonio José Anacleto, 1984 - 2010
Third Sergeant Antonio José Anacleto, a national of Brazil, was deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for six months.
Antonio had been patrolling the streets of Cité Soleil when the earthquake struck. He was seriously wounded by falling debris but initially survived. He died later at the hospital where he was treated.
Before volunteering to serve in Haiti, Antonio was stationed with the 5th Battalion Light Infantry in Lorena in São Paulo State, for seven years. The youngest of four siblings, he and his father lived on the edge of the Cachoeira Paulista area of São Paulo.
According to relatives who kept in touch with Antonio by phone and online chats, Antonio told his family that he enjoyed working in Haiti despite the poverty that plagued the country, but that he was eager to return to Brazil.
His brother described Antonio as a happy person who liked to “go out with colleagues and play football.” He never missed the opportunity to play football with his friends and was a fan of the Corinthian football team.
According to one of his sisters, Antonio was a “baladeiro” – someone who enjoys parties – and had many friends. His family had been planning a big event for his return, which was scheduled to take place a few days after the earthquake.
A ceremony was held on 22 January at the Brasilia Air Base to honour Antonio and his fallen colleagues, which was attended by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and First Lady Marisa Letícia. President Lula called their work with MINUSTAH “the noblest humanitarian mission ever carried out by the Brazilian Armed Forces.”
Antonio and his colleagues posthumously received a promotion and the Peacemaker Medal from their country for outstanding acts of courage and bravery under lifethreatening circumstances.
Antonio is survived by his father and his siblings, one brother and two sisters.