Uprising Radio KPFK 90.7
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier was charged with corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds by a judge in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. After a fifteen-year reign of terror followed by a 25-year exile in Europe, ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier returned to his home country late Sunday night without explanation, telling the press that he simply wanted to ‘help Haiti’. Duvalier’s true political ambitions are unknown. Human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have encouraged Haitian leaders to charge Duvalier for the crimes against humanity committed during his administration. Like his father, Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, Baby Doc used the Tonton Macoutes, a secret police force, to imprison, torture and kill thousands of Haitian citizens. According to a confidential diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks, Lisa Kubiske, the US charge d’affairs in the neighboring Dominican Republic, warned Dominican foreign minister Carlos Morales Troncoso about Duvalier’s possible return to Haiti in 2006. Kubiske was concerned that the return of either Duvalier or former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide would send the country into a tailspin during its highly volatile elections. Former president Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, has also recently expressed a desire to return to Haiti to help rebuild the country. Aristide, who was ousted in 2004 and exiled to South Africa, still remains popular among Haitians. Aristide has repeatedly applied for a Haitian passport but still has not received a response from the Haitian government.
Listen to Brian Concannon Jr., a human rights lawyer, and Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, discuss Duvalier’s human rights abuses on Uprising Radio KPFK 90.7, on January 20, 2011.