Mr. Gustavo Ariel Gomez, 1977 - 2010
UN Police (Argentina)
First Corporal Gustavo Ariel Gomez, a national of Argentina, was deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for nine months, training Haitian National Police on scientific investigation methods.
Gustavo decided he wanted to be a police officer in the Argentine National Gendarmerie at an early age. He studied at the Escuela de Suboficiales and worked for many years in Buenos Aires.
Before joining MINUSTAH, Gustavo served as First Corporal in the 50th Squadron of the National Gendarmerie in Posadas, not far from Buenos Aires, where he had moved to live with his family.
“He didn’t consider it as a job but as a vocation. He was very cheerful and very skillful,” his Chief in Posadas said.
Having served on a previous mission in 2006 to Haiti, Gustavo requested to return in 2009 with a contingent of 14 National Gendarmes. Colleagues said he was selected to participate on the basis of his skills, work record, knowledge of languages and excellent professional conduct.
He was “one who always fought for his ideals and was always loyal,” his uncle recalled.
In December 2009, Gustavo spent Christmas and the New Year holidays with his family and relatives in Argentina. They recalled fondly that “he was very loving, fun, hardworking, diligent and well prepared; above all, he had a natural talent: he was an excellent dancer.”
A friend remembered Gustavo’s charm, saying he was “a great friend, always smiling, and the best dancer of the Latin District.”
Some of his friends now refer to Gustavo as the “Pride of the Nation,” a hero who demonstrated the difference between “living for nothing and dying for something.”
Gustavo’s body was received at the Metropolitan Airport in Buenos Aires by an honour guard and senior government and National Gendarmerie officials, among whom was the Argentine Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Security Julio Alak who said, “Corporal Gustavo Gomez had a dream and decided to create his own destiny. He chose to be a patriot of the world, no matter what it could cost him. Gustavo believed in humanity and its capacity to reinvent the world.”
At another ceremony held in Gustavo’s hometown of Posada, where he was buried, his casket was covered with the flag of Argentina, his police cap, and his UN blue beret.
Gustavo is survived by his wife Patricia Borjas and their two children, Agustina, 4, and Iván, 3.