Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Arrested In Haiti On Corruption Charges

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier was charged with corruption and the theft of his country’s funds yesterday during a hearing before a judge in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The charges come two days after the former dictator and son of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier returned to Haiti for the first time after being overthrown by popular uprising in 1986.

“His fate is now in the hands of the investigating judge,” said Aristidas Auguste, Haiti’s chief prosecutor, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

Duvalier was expected to give a press conference explaining his return, but was instead apprehended at Hotel Karibe, where he has been staying since his unexpected return to the country from exile in France.

While it unclear how much he is accused of taking from Haiti, in 2004 Transparency International estimated that he embezzled between $300-$800 million while in power.

Groups of supporters remained in the area around the prosecutor’s office to give support to Duvalier, while human rights activists gathered at the doors of the institution to protest the ex-dictator.

“Duvalier was the ringleader for many crimes that were committed between 1971 and 1986, which may be characterized as crimes against humanity,” said Pierre Esperance, executive director of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, according to Fox News.

Duvalier’s lawyers remain optimistic that the former dictator will not see any prison time and that the charges against him will not amount to anything.

“I have seen the positions (of the government) and I can say that they cannot be prosecuted now,” said Gervais Charles, Duvalier’s lawyer.

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Southern Cone

Image: a-birdie @ Flickr.

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2 comments

  1. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! Hope he rots in prison until he returns stolen funds to his people.

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