Ms. Rosa Crespo-Biel, 1962 - 2010
UN Police (Spain)
Rosa Crespo Biel, a national of Spain, belonged to a contingent of 13 officers from the Spanish Policía Nacional (Spanish National Police Force) deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) where she had been serving as a bodyguard to senior UN officials since August 2008.
“She was a true model for all policewomen in UN Police,” noted a colleague. “To be the security officer for a high personality like the Police Commissioner is not a mission for everybody. To be a woman in this position it is a double honour and a sign of appreciation for her exceptional professional skills.”
More than 20 years of Rosa’s professional career were devoted to the Police Headquarters of La Rioja and Aragon in Spain. She was one of the first women to join this contingent, going on to work for Public Safety and the Judicial Police Brigade. She rose to the rank of Deputy Inspector in 2003, and went on to assume the leadership of the Service to Women group in Zaragoza, specializing in cases of gender violence.
“She embarked on a personal challenge to help a disadvantaged country,” said Archbishop Ureña who presided over her funeral. Rosa had promoted two co-operation projects in Port-au-Prince. One intended to support the deaf community. The other, known as “Los Guapos” was a non-governmental organization formed by civil guards and serving police members. Her life-long dedication to humanitarian affairs earned her the title of “Guardian Angel of the World” from colleagues.
Rosa was publicly recognized for her work on more than 30 occasions over the course of her professional career and, in 1999, she was awarded the Police Merit Cross – White Class. Spanish Internal Affairs Minister Perez Rubalcaba decorated her with a posthumous police service medal upon the return of her body to Spain.
The daughter of deaf parents, Rosa made it one of her life missions to help the hearing impaired. She acted as interpreter for the deaf during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Zaragoza, and she received a tribute plaque for having enabled 36 deaf workers to gain employment at General Motors in Spain.
Her steady nerves and pride in her profession were evident. But she was also “jovial, happy, charismatic and a great example of perseverance and optimism.”
Rosa was happily married to Federico Capdevila for 28 years and was the mother of two daughters, 13 and 16 years. Once she considered her daughters were grown up enough, her enterprising nature led her to Haiti. Rosa planned to return permanently to Zaragoza in February 2010.
She is survived by her husband and their two daughters.