Words expressed by Patrick Mueller, at the memorial servicefor the six ICRC colleagues who lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Faced with such a terrible event, we are at a loss for words. Yet words were so important to you. The little notebook you always carried with you was full of the jokes, expressions and poems you wanted to put down on paper as you went on your way. You had two often-repeated expressions that we found especially amusing, and that will always remind us of you.
"I mean..." I think. I think, therefore I am. Yes Julio, you are and always will be in our hearts. How could we forget your infectious joie de vivre , your mischievous smile, your unfailing kindness, your total commitment to relieving the pain and distress of all the victims you met almost every day, your Spanish accent which brought us the warmth of the south?
You also attached great importance to quality: quality in your personal relations, quality in your work, quality in the things you bought and gave away, quality in your humour, and in yourself. You were indeed a man of quality.
"Clic-clac!" – sharp words that cut us to the quick. Cic-clac, like a door slammed shut, like the beginning of a horror movie; clic-clac like your sudden death. Today we are deeply moved to think that you became a victim of the cause that was so dear to you. How can we accept such a t ragic fate? You leave us grief-stricken, our only comfort the delightful memories we have of you.
On behalf of all your colleagues in the eastern Congo I want to express our thanks, Julio, heartfelt thanks for everything you gave us.
Special memorial ceremony,
Geneva - May 2, 2001.
Gillian Biddulph Ackermann
of our colleagues
April 27, 2001
Chronology of activities
The ICRC in Congo (DRC)