South Florida’s Haitian Community Reacts To Duvalier’s Return

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.

  • Tona Geff

    There’s no reason for hatians in So Florida to show such concerns.95 % of them never lived in P-Au-P and came to Fl in boats from their native villages.They used the political status in Haiti to obstain their green cards;they all owe him (Jn Duvalier) a thank you.After all,his administration proven to be the best :Security,economie,and progres and peace.

    • Alejandroomi

      You need not be a Haitian or be born there to know the ‘Reign of Terror’ under both Papa Doc and Baby Doc. Did you ever study history?

      The Duvalier’s employed the ‘Tonton Macoutes’ against any opponents, including those who proposed progressive social systems for the benefit of the people. Those who spoke out against Duvalier would disappear at night, or were sometimes attacked in broad daylight. Tonton Macoutes often stoned and burned people alive. Many times the corpses were put on display, often hung in trees for everyone to see. Family members who tried to remove the bodies for proper burial often disappeared themselves, never to be seen again. They were believed to have been abducted and killed by the MVSN, who were called the Tonton Macoutes as a result. Anyone who challenged the MVSN risked assassination. Their unrestrained state terrorism was accompanied by corruption, extortion and personal aggrandizement among the leadership.

      Baby Doc must be brought to justice and pay for all the evil he brought upon the Haitian Nation!

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