Cleiton Neiva, 1976 - 2010
Associate Security Officer (Brazil)
Cleiton Neiva, a national of Brazil, worked for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on and off in several capacities since 2004.
Cleiton graduated from the Academia da Polícia Militar de Brasília in 1999, with a Bachelor of Science in public security and social defense. In 2003, he began working towards a postgraduate degree at União Pioneira de Integração Social, specializing in public security management and social defense.
With an avid interest and a natural ability to learn languages he spoke English, French and Spanish fluently in addition to his mother tongue Portuguese. He also understood Haitian Creole.
Cleiton moved up the ranks quickly. He started his national service with the Brasilia Military Police in 1997 as a cadet. In 2003, he took on the rank of Deputy Commander and, only five months later, was promoted to Police Academy Instructor and Platoon Commander.
Cleiton was equally motivated in his UN security career. He joined MINUSTAH in September 2004 as Chief of the UN Police National Operations Centre and Chief of Joint Operations Centre.
A year later, Cleiton assumed the responsibility of UN Police Operations Chief until April 2006, when he returned to Brazil as Security Manager of the Banco Central do Brasil.
In 2007, he returned to MINUSTAH as a Regional Security Officer. In 2008, he was appointed Chief of the Security Operations Centre responsible for conducting analyses in support of the Mission’s operations and decision-making, where colleagues remembered that Cleiton put in a lot of extra hours.
During a hardship field assignment on hurricane relief efforts in Gonaives, Haiti, Cleiton demonstrated exceptional professionalism, leadership and calm. His team members described him as “the point of balance for us. His experience in the field and his good relationship with everybody allowed him to resolve a lot of situations. He is always patient and polite, but very quick to take important decisions to help others.”
“His professionalism and smile helped create a good environment for our UN staff during the crisis,” said a colleague. As a friend, Cleiton is remembered for his camaraderie and compassion.“
Cleiton Neiva was a young man with an extraordinary charisma, the soul of an angel who was loved and appreciated by whoever met him,” said a friend.
Others remembered that he always had kind words for his friends and colleagues and was fond of telling jokes.
According to friends, Cleiton met his wife Irene, who works in public information in MINUSTAH, in Haiti. They were married on a Haitian island in a ceremony that is remembered by all who attended.
Cleiton is survived by his wife and baby son Yannick.