UNODC regrets the loss of colleague Luis Maria Duarte

LuisBrasília, 21 March 2014 - I take on the painful task of saying goodbye to Luis María Duarte, who until a few weeks ago was serving with care, dedication and success as coordinator of our National Integrated Program in Paraguay. Luis had left our organization to grow personally and professionally in Kabul, Afghanistan, in election observation missions. There, a terrorist act ended his life.

The death of a young man always brings a feeling of injustice. If it is also the death of a professional who was beginning to reap the fruits of his labour and had promising accomplishments ahead of him, there is a feeling of an even greater loss. But when it happens in the circumstances in which it came about, as a result of insane terrorism, we find it - above all things - incomprehensible.

The death of Luis, with the tragedy it brings, should make us reflect on our work and our acts. A university professor, a diplomat, an international civil servant and, more recently, a professional committed to democracy and freedom, he probably, like all of us who work at UNODC, did not create immediately tangible or attractive consumer products. Instead, his work and ours is one of service, long-windedness and sacrifice. But it is worth doing for the sake of others, as he did, in the service of his country and of the international community.

To his parents, in the certainty that their pain must be as great as their pride, our deepest condolences. And to his colleagues, among whom he left many friends, may we find comfort in his example to continue fulfilling our mission.


Rafael Franzini


UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brasil