Major Marcio Guimarães Martins, 1973 - 2010
Lieutenant Colonel Marcio Guimarães Martins, a national of Brazil, had arrived in Port-au-Prince on 10 January, two days before the earthquake struck as the Chief of Staff for the Peace Infantry Battalion (Brabatt) working with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Originally from Natal in eastern Brazil, Marcio was a paratrooper with the Infantry Brigade of Parachutists in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to being promoted to the rank of Major in December 2009, he had served as a Captain in Santa Maria, where he joined the Permanent Council of Justice to the Army in 2006.
Aside from his military career, Marcio also had a Master’s degree in Military Law from the Santa Maria Faculty of Law and published a research monograph on the relevance of the Union of Military Courts in Brazil.
“He was very, very intelligent,” said his twin brother, adding that “he was extremely devoted to his family, a standup brother, and an example for his children and family.”
“He was prepared for anything. In Brazil, the training is intense and it lasts six months, but no amount of preparation can help in such a tragedy,” said his brother.
A ceremony was held on 22 January at the Brasilia Air Base to honour Francisco 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.”
Marcio and his colleagues posthumously received a promotion and the Peacemaker Medal from their country for outstanding acts of courage and bravery under life-threatening circumstances.
Marcio was buried on 22 January in the garden of Saudade in the West Zone of Rio.
He is survived by his wife, his son, 5, and an infant daughter.