News

Former Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier Dies at 63

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 4, 2014

Above: Jean-Claude Duvalier

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has died at the age of 63.

Duvalier ruled Haiti with an iron fist for 15 years following the 14-year dictatorship of his father, Francois Duvalier, from 1957 to 1971.

Duvalier spent more than two decades in exile following his ouster in 1986, controversially returning to Haiti in 2011 where he was soon arrested and later charged for corruption.

His prolonged legal battle following his return to Haiti led to criticism from human rights experts and others.

Duvalier reportedly died due to a heart attack.

In a statement, Human Rights Watched said Duvalier’s death meant that justice had been denied for many of the victims of his alleged crimes against humanity.

“The inability of Haiti’s courts to bring to trial former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier deprived his countless Haitian victims of the justice they sought,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

“It’s a shame that the Haitian justice system could not bring Baby Doc Duvalier to trial before he died,” said Reed Brody, special counsel at the organization. “Duvalier’s death robs Haiti of what could have been the most important human rights trial in its history.”

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