Brazilian general dies in Haiti

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Brazilian General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar, military chief of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) died in the morning of January 7, in his Port-au-Prince hotel room.

Early speculations that the commander had committed suicide were supported both by a recently published UN report, and by a separate Brazilian police investigation. Bacellar had been placed in charge of the mission in August 2005, replacing General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira.

Since Bacellar's death, the post was run by a Chilean general. Carlos dos Santos, the director of the UN Information Center in Brazil, told Agência Brasil that a new commander is presumed to be named no later than next week.

The UN Department of Peace Operations, along with Kofi Annan and advisors, are evaluating which of the two nominees are best suited to the position.