Friday, January 21, 2011


In recent days the former dictator of Haiti Jean Claude Duvalier (AKA 'Baby Doc') from 1971 to 1986 returned to his country. He was greeted by a group of supporters and an inefficient legal system that barely laid mediocre charges (corruption) rather than holding him accountable for the thousands of killings during his regime.

Most likely the intentions of the former dictator are returning to power. Duvalier escaped Haiti in 1986 in the midst of a popular rebellion against his regime. Duvalier is rresponsible for the imprisonment, torture and killings of thousands of Haitians during his regime.A peculiarity of his dictatorship was the ‘voodoo’ witchcraft’ as a means to intimidate a nation predisposed towards superstitions and with the highest levels of illiteracy and poverty world wide.

What follows is a photo gallery with the most onerous aspects of the Duvalier dictatorship and what can Haiti expect if this thug returns to power:

Photo taken from Latin American Studies

The 'Tonton Macoutes' or Secret Police were the main force used by Jean Claude Duvalier to intimidate political opponents. This terror militia was created during the regime of Duvalier's father 'Papa Doc' Duvalier in 1959 and renamed 'MVSN' or Volunteer Militias of National Security. They were modelled on the Italian fascist 'Blackshirts' and in Haitian creole the term 'Tonton Macoute is the equivalent of 'bogeyman.'

Tonton Macoute members wore dark glasses, wielded machetes, and left their victims hanging in public places as a warning to others. They cultivated the image of being voodoo demons or zombies. They often had firearms but resorted to machetes and blades to inflict severe and grievous bodily harm to victims.

In the international media the story circulated that Tonton Macoute kidnapped political dissidents and exposeed them to voodoo rituals in which a certain substances were given to prisoners to provoke brain damage. Popularly these was known as ‘turning people into zombies”

A Tonton Macoute brandishing his 'machete.' Photo taken from Latin American Studies

Photo taken from Boom 3

The 'machete' became a weapon used by the Tonton Macoutes and pro Duvalier groups to terrorize the populace and slash political opponents into pieces in public.

Francois Duvalier and Jean Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier. Photo taken from

- Dictator of Haiti from 1971 - 1986

- Became dictator at age 19 through dynastic succession as he inherited political power from his father, also dictator 'Francois Duvalier'
- Presided over a corrupted government and he personally accumulated a wealth of hundreds of millions of dollars by exerting a monopoly on the tobacco industry – the Régie du Tabac (Tobacco Administration) and later extended to other government enterprises.
- Married Michèle Bennett, a mulatto divorcée in a wedding that had a cost of $3 million in one of the most impoverished nations on earth
- Brought to power a new ‘mulatto elite’ and alienated to old ‘black middle’ class that had supported his father Francois Duvalier.
- A regimen characterized by high levels of inequalities which motivated popular protests nation wide.
- The Duvalier regime responded to dissidence by closing independent radio stations, and repressing political opponents through the use of terror and his private militia the Tonton Macoutes.

Source: Quick reference on Jean Claude Duvalier from Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. The man in the colour photograph is a suspected member of the Tonton Macoute, he was killed. You should mention this otherwise it's implied that he is being attacked by the Tonton Macoute.
    It is remiss, even in such a short article, not to state the high regard that many Haitians feel for both the Duvalier leaders.
    There were many horrors committed by both regimes but you need to use facts.