Body of Brazilian General Stays in Haiti Until Brazilian Team Investigates His Death

Approximately 300 people participated, today, in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), on a ceremony in the honor of the Brazilian General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar, who died Saturday, January 7.

The Brazilian General was the military commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), since last September. The United Nations Organization (UN) arranged the ceremony.

According to the battalion’s press officer, lieutenant colonel Fernando Cunha Mattos, the body of the General, which was expected to be sent to Brazil after the ceremony, will remain in Haiti for an undetermined time, until an eight-person Brazilian mission, sent to investigate the case, concludes its works.

Bacellar was found dead last Saturday of a gunshot wound, in the hotel where he lived in Port-au-Prince. The circumstances of the death are not clear yet. According to Mattos, it was a "firearm accident."

Brazil commands the MINUSTAH since June 2004. The 1,200 Brazilian soldiers in Haiti are the largest group ever sent abroad by Brazil, since World War II. The UN Security Council authorized military presence in the Haiti peace mission to ensure the country’s stability, following the removal of ex President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

An airplane of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) left this Sunday, January 8, to Haiti, with representatives of the federal government who are accompanying the investigations on the death of Bacellar.

The head of the Department for North America and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Gonçalo Mello Mourão, also went to Haiti.

The Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, talked about the General’s death to the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and to the Head of UN mission in Haiti, Chilean diplomat Juan Gabriel Valdés.

Agência Brasil

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