Lt. Col. Marcus Vinicius Macedo Cysneiros, 1968 - 2010
Colonel Marcus Vinicius Macedo Cysneiros, a national of Brazil, was deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in July 2009.
Born in Niteroi, southeast Brazil, Marcus was linked to the Office of the Commander in Brasilia, and stationed with the 8th Motorized Infantry Brigade in Pelotas. For as long as his family can remember, Marcus had always wanted to make a difference. “He was committed to his desire for a more just world,” said a family member.
After entering military school at age 13, Marcus graduated in 1988 from the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras with an expertise in infantry weapons.
A decorated and experienced military professional, he was also trained in photography, information and image analysis, and advanced intelligence. He was also a specialist in strategic information management. All of this led to his rapid rise through the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel, and earned him the Military Medal and Silver Victory Medal.
In addition to his military career, Marcus constantly crossed milestones in academic excellence. In 2003, he completed his Master’s in Military Science from Brazil’s Army Command and General Staff College on the island of Trindade. He then worked towards a PhD in 2007 at the Universidade de Brasília, writing a dissertation in line with his passion for Arab culture called, “Inquisition in the 17th Century and the Muslims.” He understood Arabic, in addition to speaking English, Spanish and Portuguese.
“His proposition for his doctoral thesis on cultural history was accepted in the first round,” said his academic supervisor. “He was a very kind, reserved, and extremely studious man.”
Friends, colleagues and family alike remembered Marcus’ devotion to his work, and his belief that his actions could help make the world a better place. “Marcus accepted the mission in Port-au-Prince with pride,” said a family member. “The call to defend his blue helmet was his last and most brilliant mission to help the suffering people of Haiti.”
“It’s a great loss,” said a colleague. “He was a good person, focused and very friendly. He got along well with colleagues and was a friend to everyone.”
“He was an incomparable father, son, devoted husband, loving, beloved brother and faithful friend,” said a family member.
“He fought the good fight, finished his race and always kept his faith,” said another family member.
A ceremony was held on 22 January at the Brasilia Air Base to honour Marcus 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.”
Marcus and his colleagues posthumously received a promotion and the Peacemaker Medal from his country for outstanding acts of courage and bravery under life-threatening circumstances.
Marcus is survived by his wife and two daughters.