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Entries in Jean-Claude Duvalier (4)

Tuesday
Jan182011

Ex-Haitian Dictator 'Baby Doc' Led Out of Hotel By Police

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- Just days after his surprise return to Haiti, former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was led out of a Port-au-Prince hotel by heavily-armed police.

He is expected to be charged with crimes allegedly committed during a brutal regime that ended with his ouster 25 years ago. A government official told ABC News the one-time dictator would be arrested for "heinous crimes against the Haitian people."

Armed policemen, a judge and the country's senior prosecutor arrived at the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, where Duvalier has remained holed up since his return from French exile on Sunday. Hours later police led him out of the hotel.

Despite previous warnings that a return to Haiti would result in arrest, Duvalier arrived Sunday with a diplomatic visa and a perceived understanding from Haitian President Rene Preval that he had permission to return "like any other Haitian citizen," according to a source in the president's office.

Human rights groups have been clamoring for Duvalier's arrest, citing allegations of flagrant corruption and a lengthy reign of terror that began when his father Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier first seized control of the island in 1957. "Baby Doc" Duvalier who came to power in 1971 as the 19-year-old heir.

Since his ouster in 1986, Baby Doc has lived in exile in a lavish villa in France.

It is unclear why Duvalier chose to return to Haiti now, a year after a devastating earthquake and in the midst of a deadly cholera outbreak and political deadlock. Many observers speculated that the former dictator hoped to exploit the instability and the millions of Haitians too young to remember his brutal regime.

With more than 1 million people left homeless after the earthquake and another 3,500 recently dead from cholera, some Haitians may be nostalgic for the stability that Duvalier brought the country; even if that reliability came with death squads and reckless corruption.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan182011

What's Behind Dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier's Return to Haiti?

Photo Courtesy - Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, the exiled despot who mysteriously arrived in Haiti this past weekend, is expected to address the country Tuesday to explain why he has returned amid cholera, destruction and political instability.

Duvalier, a former dictator exiled to France 25 years ago amid allegations of corruption and murder, returned unannounced to Haiti Sunday.  His arrival is expected to further complicate an already unstable political climate, with many observers inside and out wondering why he would choose to return now amid so much chaos in the wake of last year's earthquake.

"I'm not here for politics," Duvalier told Radio Caraibes Sunday after arriving at the airport.  "I'm here for the reconstruction of Haiti."

Duvalier cancelled a news conference Monday in which he was expected to explain why he chose now to leave his exile in France and what he plans to do in Haiti.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan182011

Amnesty International Wants Haiti's "Baby Doc" Prosecuted

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- No one is entirely sure why Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has returned to Haiti after 25 years, but some civil rights groups know what they'd like to do with him.

Duvalier fled to France in 1986 after a 15-year rule of Haiti that was marked by repression and fraud.  Now, Amnesty International and other organizations say that the former dictator must face the consequences of his actions.

Amnesty International Haiti expert Gerardo Ducos said his group has "documented serious human rights violations such as torture, forced disappearances, rape, extra-judicial executions and murders," which he says occurred on Duvalier's watch.

Duvalier, who took over the country from his late father, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, a similarly reviled figure, hasn't publicly announced why he's ended his long exile.  Both were blamed for using a paramilitary force that killed thousands of people.

Arresting Duvalier may be difficult, given the chaotic situation that exists in Haiti following last year's devastating earthquake, and the political instability that resulted after recent presidential elections could not determine the country's next leader.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan172011

Former Dictator 'Baby Doc' Makes Surprise Return to Haiti

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier landed in Haiti Sunday, marking the first time in 25 years that the former Haitian dictator has been in the country.

For most Haitians, Duvalier's return comes as a surprise.  The 59-year-old ex-dictator, who has been living in exile in France, came back at probably the most difficult time in Haitian political history.  Elections that just took place have been marred by fraud, causing a lot of political instability as the country's future leader remains up in the air.  There's even talk about an interim government being formed that will be a caretaker government for a year.

Duvalier ran Haiti from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s.  Under his reign, thousands of people disappeared or were killed, and many Haitians remember those days as a time of incredible terror.  But they also remember that time as Haiti's political and economic heyday when trains ran on time, streets were paved, kids went to school and there was a greater sense of order than there is today.

Duvalier has not explained the reasoning behind his return nor his intentions while he remains in the country. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio