MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida’s Little Haiti community is calling for justice tonight amidst shock over the news that former Haitian dictator Jean Claude Duvalier has returned to Haiti.
Many in our community fled their homeland during Duvalier’s brutal 15 year rule in which thousands of Haitians are believed to have died at the hands of the TonTon Macoute, or secret police.
Duvalier was forced into exile in France after a popular revolt in 1986. On Sunday, without apparent warning, the 59 year old former dictator landed in Port-a-Prince aboard an Air France flight and is quoted as saying he wants to help in the reconstruction of post-earthquake Haiti.
Haitians here say he should have no role in the country’s future, including the contested presidential elections rocking Haiti.
Jean Marcellus is vice-mayor of North Miami. He grew up in Haiti and said of Duvalier’s return, “I don’t think he can be kingmaker or back in power, whatever reason he is back right now I think he should face justice.”
There is no indication Duvalier faces any arrest warrant. Indeed it is hard to imagine he would have come back to Haiti out of exile if he had any concerns about being hauled into court.
For the moment Haitians and the international diplomatic community can only guess at Duvalier’s motivation and what it will mean for a country gripped in never ending turmoil.