Warrant Officer Raniel Batista de Camargos, 1967 - 2010
Second Lieutenant Raniel Batista de Camargos, a national of Brazil, was deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since June 2009.
Raniel, who had a 21-year military career, entered sergeant’s school in 1989 in Três orações in Minas Gerais state, before being stationed in Brasilia, Assis Brasil, Natal and Botucatu.
Prior to serving in Haiti, his last assignment was with the 37th Battalion of Light Infantry in Lins, São Paulo, where he lived.
“He had wanted to be a soldier when he was a young boy as early as six years old,” said his mother. Raniel told her that “he only realized what poverty really meant when he arrived in Haiti.”
“What makes me happy is knowing that Raniel died doing what he always wanted,” his wife said. “He died
In addition to his military duties, Raniel helped whenever and wherever he could. While on assignment in Botucatu, he started a project with the help of a local school called “Citizen of the Future,” which supervised children outside of school hours as a way to combat street crime.
“He was always dedicated to social causes and he was happy to take part in a peace mission. Once a gas container exploded in our street and he went and helped the people. That’s the way he was,” said a member of his family.
“Our country has lost an honest citizen, but has found a new hero,” said an acquaintance. “Congratulations on
a brilliant life, Raniel.”
“He was very friendly and liked to help people,” according to a friend. “Raniel, wherever you are, please know
that you are always in our hearts.”
A ceremony was held on 22 January at the Brasilia Air Base to honour Raniel 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.”
Raniel and his colleagues posthumously received a promotion and the Peacemaker Medal from their country
for outstanding acts of courage and bravery under lifethreatening circumstances.
“Raniel spoke with his daughter Giovana, age six, by Skype a few hours before the earthquake to wish her a
happy birthday,” said Raniel’s father. He was scheduled to return to Brazil to visit his family at the end of January.
Raniel is survived by his parents and his wife Heloisa, and two children Giovana, 6, and Luis Gustavo, 2.