Haitian president 'Baby Doc' Duvalier: history written in blood
Leader led campaign of terror, torture and execution
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier took control of the Caribbean nation of Haiti while still a teenager, after his father and former dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier died suddenly in 1971. Recently returned to Haiti after being forcibly expelled in 1986, the "Baby Doc" regime was one largely written in blood and tears.
The Tonton Macoutes were the strong arm branch of Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier's regime in Haiti. At least 50 people are thought to have been killed by them in 1986.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In April 1971, after his father died, "Baby Doc" became the country's president for life under a constitutional amendment that allowed "Papa Doc" to name his replacement. "Baby Doc" is only 19 years old.
In April of 1985, after protests by religious groups against Duvalier's leadership, bloody confrontations are sparked between anti-government demonstrators and Duvalier's private militia, called Tonton Macoutes.
On November 27, 1985, three students were slain by security forces in Gonaives in the first of several bloody confrontations with anti-government demonstrators.
In December of 1985, protests broaden across the country. Duvalier orders a significant reshuffle of his Cabinet.
In January 1986, Duvalier's administration closes schools and universities and forbids radio stations to report on the turmoil engulfing the country. More than 50 people are killed in disturbances, most by Tonton Macoutes. Duvalier declares 30-day state of siege.
On January 31, 1986, following weeks of unrest, White House spokesman Larry Speakes announces the collapse of the Duvalier government, a report that is later denied by Haitian and U.S. officials.
In February of the same year, Duvalier and relatives flew to France aboard U.S. military jet. National Council of Government, consisting of three military men and two civilians, led by Duvalier's army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, takes power.
Shortly afterwards, a provisional government, headed by Namphy, names 19-member Cabinet. It dissolves Assembly and Tonton Macoutes, reopens schools, frees political prisoners and seeks to recover Duvaliers' assets. U.S. aid resumes, after being halted because of Duvalier abuses.
The new Haitian constitution in March 29, 1987 bars "Duvalierists" from candidacy for 10 years.
A Geneva court in May of 2007 temporarily blocks the release of some of the $6.2 million in U.S. dollars stashed in Switzerland by Duvalier. Many in Haiti considered the money to have been stolen from public funds before Duvalier was ousted.
In August 2007, the Swiss government extends a freeze on Duvalier's funds for a year.
But in February of 2010, there is a reversal, as Switzerland's top court says at least $4.6 million in Swiss bank accounts previously awarded to charities must be returned to the family of Duvalier.
"Baby Doc" Duvalier has recently returned to Haiti after nearly 25 years in exile as Haiti struggles to recover from a devastating earthquake, deadly cholera outbreak and an electoral crisis.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Baby Doc, Haiti, Tonton Macoutes
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