Dictators Of Haiti

Francois & Jean-Claude Duvalier

Francois Duvalier 'Papa Doc'

Francois Duvalier, more commonly know by his people as 'Papa Doc' was born on April 14th 1907 in Port-au-Prince Haiti. He graduated in 1934 from the University of Haiti School of Medicine. He later joined a group called Le Groupe des Griots; the group embraced black nationalism and voodoo as the key sources of Haitian culture. After a military coup and multiple uprisings Francois Duvalier was elected president on October 22, 1957. He was known throughout his rule for being ruthless against his opposition. He reduced the size of the government army, and with his chief aide Clemont Barbot, he organized the Tontons Macoutes (Haitian Creole for Bogeyman). April 22, 1971 Francois Duvalier passed on and left the presidency of Haiti to his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, known more commonly as 'Baby Doc'.

Jean-Claude Duvalier 'Baby Doc'

Born July 3, 1951 Jean-Claude Duvalier became president of Haiti in April of 1971 at age 19 due to his fathers passing away. Under pressure from the US Jean Claude instituted reforms, replaced older cabinet members and released some political prisoners. Despite all of this Haiti's government policies remained unchanged as did its relationships with other nations. In 1980 he married Michelle Bennett, a wedding that cost 3 million dollars of the states money. In 1986 due to unrest in the country Jean Claude and his wife left Haiti for France and a military council ran the country for a few years. Jean Claude returned to Haiti in 2011 only to be arrested for human rights violations.
His Victims Won't Forget: "Baby Doc" Duvalier
In the above video we see how Haiti was truly devastated by the Duvaliers. Most people only saw how Jean Claude had embezzled money from Haiti and saw is as his only crime. The human rights violations were only added as a charge after protest from the people of Haiti persuaded the government to do so.

Letter to Haiti

Dear Haitian Government

I am pleased to hear that you have arrested Jean Claude Duvalier on embezzlement charges, however why have you not charged him with human rights violations? Why has he not been charged with wrongful imprisonment? Why is he even being given a trial when he himself put away thousands of political prisoners without trial. I believe that the only way to settle Haiti's dispute with Jean Claude is to lock him up for the rest of his life here in Haiti so he may watch as we begin to thrive without his so called 'leadership'. Jean Claude must pay for what he has done to Haiti, first with the money he stole from us, and second with his imprisonment.


Concerned Citizen

Essential Question

Had the Duvaliers not embezzled money from Haiti and only acted as other Latin American dictators, would Haiti have the ability to have a thriving economy and well liked/respected government?