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Liberation of Maria Park in Pantanal

Testimony of Captain Peter Paulo Alves Pinheiro

The greatness of True Parents reaches far beyond our imagination. For the first time in human history, True Parents revealed the sorrowful heart of Heavenly Parent and sought to liberate it. This was the motive of the Cosmic Liberation Ceremony in Nabileque on May 14th, 1999. However, before this ceremony took place, “Satan’s Natural Surrender (1999.3.21)” and “Opening of Gates of Hell (1998.5.15)” took place in Pantanal. These events have immeasurable significance to all humankind.

Who or which religious figure in human history, sought even to forgive and liberate the worst criminals of human history? Who thought about liberating even Lucifer, the cause of all pain and sorrow? Only True Parents did. True Parents revealed the heart of Heavenly Parent, who wishes that, at the end of the restoration, all criminals and saints would sit in the same position based on brotherly love. True Father said:

“At the end of history, God does not wish the elder brother and younger brother to fight and then one goes to heaven and the other goes to hell and dies in prison. There is no parent who wishes his child to be killed in prison. … God wishes everyone to sit at the same table centering on brotherly love. Because I understood God’s parental heart that wished such an end even after the sorrow (恨) over tens of thousands of years, I went forward to complete the task of blessing them (historical criminals and saints). That is how the gates of hell are opened and then the gates of heaven are opened.” (Collection of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Words, Book 295, Page 59, 1998.8.17, Kodiak, Alaska)

In order to return everything to heaven, True Parents had to complete the liberation of the worst criminals of humankind in Pantanal. It may be impossible for us to understand the deep contents of the path of True Parents, but we wish to see a glimpse of it through the testimony of Peter Paulo, who was the boat captain for True Father in Pantanal. 

True Father’s Words about Maria Park:

“I can never forget the Pantanal. In this serious place I received God’s request regarding Maria Park’s family through Dr. Lee Sang-hun in the spirit world. How mortified and sorry God must have been! When you think about that situation, your insides should be boiling and your bones must protrude out of your body.” (Pacific Rim Providence, 296-43, 1998.10.11)

“The Maria Park and her husband are in the position of those who killed their parents. They tried to commit an evil act of killing  the True Parents who came to earth. At the time of Ewha (梨花) University incident, we used to gather at a house in Sejongno (世宗路) where the professors of the university, Young-oon Kim (金永雲) and Yun-yeong Yang (梁允永), visited. They listened to the Divine Principle to analyze them but eventually been turned upside down from their roots. That is why Maria Park fired those professors and put herself in the position to persecute us, saying that “they are demons!” Maria Park was the origin of the complete persecution of Unification Church.” (293-240, 1998.6.1)

Peter Paulo Alves Pinheiro’s Testimony on September 23rd, 2023 (Unofficial Transcript)

(Editor’s Notes: This testimony was unofficially recorded on September 23rd, 2023 in Asuncion, Paraguay. Later, it was verified by Peter Paulo in December of 2024.)


When fishing with True Father in Pantanal, the fish on his line often got caught at the bottom of the rivers. In those times, I would dive into the water to untangle the fish from the bottom and bring them to the boat. Most of the time, it would be about 3~4 meters deep. The deepest I dove in such a case was about 7 meters.

I did not dive into the rivers only for Father. I used to do this for tourists before I met Father because it was a common occurrence for fish to get caught at the bottom. When the fish or hooks get caught at the bottom, it is normal for the line to sever. The tourists were very happy when I was able to retrieve the fish they thought they lost. 

When the fish gets tangled at the bottom, Father never told me to go into the water. I think he did not even know that it was possible for someone to dive into the water to free the fish. 

One day, we were fishing like usual on a 6-meter aluminum boat in the Salobra River. The boat is only 1 meter wide. Father would always sit in the front of the boat to fish, and I would sit at the back of the boat to steer the motor, watching his spine towards me, quietly waiting for the fish to come. Suddenly, I saw Father’s body moving, reeling the fish in. However, the line suddenly got stuck because the fish or the line was stuck at the bottom. Father gave the rod a few jerks, but the line did not let go. Then I saw Father's shoulders and head drop in disappointment.

Seeing that Father was disappointed, I started to communicate with him that I could dive in and get the fish for him. He was very surprised but pointed a thumb upward in agreement. Before diving into the water, I explained to Father how I could communicate with him from underwater. “When I pull the line twice in short intervals, please give me more line. But if I pull the line twice in long intervals, please reel in the line.”

I took off my shirt and dove into the water. Because of the minerals inside the water, the Salobra River at that season was black and the water felt heavy. The only way to find the fish was to follow the fishing line with one of my hands.

When touched the fishing line, I could feel Father above the water. From the slight movements of the line, I somehow felt Father’s sense of urgency and desperation to catch the fish. 

The fishing line that Father was using split in two, and had two hooks. One of the hooks had fish and the other was caught on a tree at the bottom of the river. Almost no sunlight reached the bottom but it was strange because I saw the fish in a spotlight, struggling to escape. It was a pacu. In order for me to free the other hook from the tree, I needed the pacu to be calm. Somehow I knew at the time that if I touched the fish, it would stop struggling. I touched the pacu with my hand, and it calmed down. I was able to free the other hook without any problems. 

I then signaled Father to pull up the line. The fish went up towards the surface and into the boat in a net. I followed the pacu but I did not come out of the water immediately because I wanted to surprise Father. I quietly swam towards the back of the boat. Feeling that Father was worried that I did not come up from the water even after the pacu was safely caught, I jumped out of the water to surprise him. It was something I did to make him smile.

After I climbed up on the boat, Father told me that half of the fish was his and half of it was mine because I helped catch the fish. He told me this two more times later. 

One thing that was strange when I dove in for the first time for Father was that when I dove deeper into the water, I somehow felt that I was going upwards. But from the second time, it was different. Every time I dove in, it felt like going down further into darkness. 

Years later, I came to understand that this process was part of opening the gates of hell. The gates of hell are not a single gate; it was comprised of many layers. In order for heaven and hell to connect, the gates of heaven and the gates of hell had to be opened. At some point after Father opened some of the gates of hell, I started to experience the visions of people like Hitler. Father’s act of fishing united the physical and spiritual realms. He was giving the criminals love to lure them out of hell, and saving them through the act of fishing in Pantanal.

While fishing, I became very sensitive to Father as I kept watching his back. I became sensitive to the movements of the cap on his head. When the fish gets stuck in the bottom, Father never asked me to dive. But I saw the small movements of his cap and his face to see what he wished. As I dove, I became more and more sensitive spiritually. When I dove with Father’s fishing line in my hand, I felt Father’s feelings through the slight movements of the line. 


Later, I accompanied True Father to fish in larger and deeper rivers around Nabileque. 

Father’s daily routine was very tough to follow. He would wake up around 4 AM, read with members for a while, and then go out fishing from around 6 AM. During conditions, he would even begin fishing from 2:30 AM. 

From Nabileque, we would travel upstream for several hours, stopping at fishing spots. We would travel about 100km, past Puerto Leda. When it gets dark, we would travel back to Nabileque without stopping for 3 to 4 hours. Sometimes, Father returned at around 8 PM to speak with his wife on the phone, but normally, he would only return home around 10 PM.

When it gets dark, it is very difficult to navigate the rivers because there is no light. Only lights are from the moon and the stars. The rivers split and curve and it is very difficult to see. During the night, the captain can easily make a mistake and drive the boat into shallow waters or a riverbank. 

Father called me “a ghost” because somehow I was able to see in the dark and drive the boat every night and bring the boat safely home. In reality, I could not see well in the dark like everybody else. But I knew how to differentiate the water from land by the slight reflection on the water's surface from the lights from the stars. In order to drive for many hours, I needed to concentrate and not lose focus because one mistake could get us stranded hours away from home.  

In Salobra, we used a small boat with 3 people on the boat. However, at Nabileque, we used a 28ft Good Go boat with 4~8 people on board. The rivers were more dangerous too. There were flesh-eating piranhas and yakares (caiman) in the water, and there were more mosquitos. It was also hotter. 

Compared to Salobra, everything was at a higher level at Nabileque.

When Father and his followers were doing Hoon Dok Hae (reading) in the morning, I did not attend. I needed to be at the boats to clean up and prepare for the fishing trip. 

One day, Father called me during the Hoon Dok Hae and told me to attend. I did not like to attend this reading because I did not even understand Korean. I also needed to sit on the floor like other members, which was very uncomfortable for me. I also needed to prepare the boats for fishing, but I grudgingly followed Father’s instruction to attend and sit with my back on the wall. Since I didn’t understand what they were reading, I would just sleep. 

On the next day, Father called me again. I again attended not knowing why. Even though I felt that Father wanted me to attend Hoon Dok Hae every morning, I did not attend the next day. Father called me again, and asked me, “Why are you not attending?” I told him my reasons but he said to me: “You must attend this gathering even if you fall asleep.” So I attended without understanding why. 

Many years later, I came to understand why I needed to attend these gatherings even though I did not know anything about Divine Principle, Church history, or Korean. As I sat there, I kept hearing the words “Park Maria” and “Lee Sung Hung” many times. I understand now that Father wanted me to listen to the Hoon Dok Hae so that I could later understand that what we were doing in Nabileque at the time was connected to these names. 

Maria Park

The conditions to forgive and liberate Maria Park began in Salobra. It took several years, but I want to speak about what happened on the last day of this condition. 

We were fishing from Nabileque at the time with many piranhas and yakares in the river. The piranhas would pass by the fishing lines and often cut them with their laser-sharp teeth. 

For three days, we were fishing in the same area with many piranhas. Mr. Yoon, who was responsible for taking photos, was making a video of piranhas by dropping food into the river and taping the piranhas eating the food at the water surface.  

The atmosphere during these three days felt very heavy. On the third day, a fish on Father’s fishing rod got stuck at the bottom. When this happened, I thought about how I could safely retrieve the fish with so many piranhas in the water. I have been bitten by piranhas several times and I know when piranhas attack. I needed to enter the water from a different place quietly and approach the location where the fish was tangled. 

Before diving into the water, for the first time, Father told me that I should not go into the water if I felt danger for my life. But I decided to go anyway. I was told many times by Father’s followers that he is the Messiah. So I thought, maybe it is okay to die near such a person. Also, I knew that it was also a great risk for Father himself because, if I died diving into the water, then the locals would say that Father forced someone to dive and die just to get his fish. 

I entered the water slowly and approached the location being careful not to attract piranhas. Usually, I take off my shirt when diving, but this time I kept my shirt on because I thought that piranhas would not smell my skin if I had less skin exposed to the water. 

After I swam to the location of the fish, I dove two times to find the exact location of the fish. Before diving for the third time, I inhaled as much as I could and dove down. Just as my head entered the water, I entered the spiritual world and started to see a vision.

As I dove into a spiritual vision, the greatest fear I felt was the fishing line that connected me to Father would be severed by a piranha. If a piranha passed by and cut the line, I would lose the connection to Father. I saw the line light up as I went down deeper. 

I saw a house that looked like an igloo in shape. But this house had sharp needles on the outside and inside of its walls. Then I saw a person crouched down at the center of this house, unable to rest on the walls because of the needles. It was a woman. She looked very sad and I felt her shame. I could not see her face clearly because her hair covered her face. 

After this vision, I returned to reality and found a pacu where I saw the house. As always, I touched the fish, and the fish became calm. I untangled the line from the tree that was lying at the bottom of the river. It was strange because there was no tree near this location. 

I was ready to go back to the boat, so I pulled the fishing line twice in a long interval to signal Father to pull the line up. But at that moment, I had an idea and pulled the line twice again at a short interval to signal him to wait. My idea was to take this opportunity to remove the tree from this location so that the fish would never get stuck again when Father fished in this place. 

So I tried to find a good footing to lift up the tree. When I confirmed that the tree was free to move, I signaled Father again to finally pull the line up. 

As Father pulled the line slowly, I held the line in my hand and I also held the tree on my other hand. Usually, Father would let others use the net to bring the fish out of the water, but this time, Father himself used the net to bring the pacu out of the water and into the boat. 

I then slowly brought the tree to the water's surface. When Father saw the tree, he said, “Oh, good, good!” We brought the tree into the boat, and later, we burnt it at Hotel Americano. At that time, I had no idea about the significance of this pacu and this tree, but later I understood that this pacu represented Maria Park, someone very important to Father. 

Usually, I measure the size of the fish we catch to make sure we can keep them according to the local law. When I measured the pacu we caught this time, I was surprised at how ugly it was. It was not a fish that we would usually keep. It was not good for eating because I saw some parasites around its mouth and it was sick, but Father wanted to keep it. 

On the 28ft Good Go boat, True Father always sat on the engine cover. Immediately in front of the engine cover, there was a water tank on the floor where we could keep the fish alive. I put the pacu in the water tank and cleaned up the boat to get ready to go back home. 

When we drove out of the fishing area, we felt something very different. Mr. Yoon said to me, “Do you feel it!? Wow!” Until that time, we felt a heavy spiritual atmosphere, but as we drove, we felt we came out of that heavy realm and felt like the boat was flying. And I felt like there was a flag waving on the boat and felt so victorious. 

The river curved frequently so I needed to look around as I drove. When I saw the back for a moment towards Father, He was sitting forward, and I saw a woman bowing down to him. I had to look forward again to drive the boat, but when I looked back again, I saw Father embracing her.

We were traveling towards Fuerte Olimpo from the north, but when we passed Hotel Americano, Father suddenly said, “Stop, stop!” As I slowed down, Father told us to turn looking forward towards Hotel Americano. 

He then instructed me to release the pacu we caught earlier. I asked, “Father, do we need to anchor?” but he said no. So I cut the engine and opened the fish tank. Strangely, the pacu was very active as I caught it in a net. What was even stranger was that the pacu looked completely different. When I put the pacu into the tank, it was sick and even had parasites. But now, it was a beautiful fish. 

I could not believe it and thought that maybe there was another pacu inside the water tank. When I looked into the tank to see if there was another pacu, Father smiled. I blocked the water inlet of the tank and started to take out the water using a small bucket to empty the tank to find the sick fish. Finally, I was convinced that there was no other pacu in the tank. 

I  kissed the beautiful pacu before releasing it into the water. Usually, when we release a fish, it immediately escapes from the boat, but this time, the pacu swam near the boat several times, even appearing above the water like a dolphin, before it was gone. True Father was waving towards the fish as it left. 

All of this happened in 1998, but this happened after three years of hard conditions. 


When I was little, I was told that I would eventually meet True Father. When I was 5 years old, my father brought me to a pond to fish. He told me to catch fish for dinner, and he went to work in his tractor. 

While I was fishing, I saw a poor man with a bag over his shoulder coming out from the bushes. He said, “I need to talk with you.” Then he brought out a book from his bag and opened it to show me a black and white photo of a man wearing oriental clothes and a hat. He said, “This person will appear.”

After this poor man showed me the picture, he walked into the bush again. My father appeared right afterwards and I climbed up into the tractor. I tried to look for the poor man from a high place on the tractor, but he was gone. It was strange because the bush was short and there was no place to hide. 

Many years later, when I saw True Father’s photo of his holy blessing, I finally understood that the black and white photo I saw when I was 5 years old was a photo of True Father. 

Since I made the promise of True Father that I will protect the Pantanal holy ground, I have always tried to do what I promised. But there were times when I was tested. In 2008 and in 2010, I was at my limits and felt like I had no power to do anything. However, True Father appeared spiritually in these moments to instruct me. 

I recently dreamed of True Father speaking to me twice. In this dream, True Father told me that He is touching people to inspire them directly to help the Pantanal Providence. 

I pray that more people can be guided and come to understand Ocean Providence, Pantanal Providence, Providence of the Heart, and Providence of the Water. 


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