Jean Pierre Baptiste (alias Jean Tatoune) Biography

Known as Jean Tatoune, Jean Pierre Baptiste is one of the few Haitians who have made a name for himself for openly showing his contempt for two Haitian presidents and making significant contributions towards their ousting from the throne of power. He first came into the limelight in 1985 when he courageously organized demonstrations against the corrupt and dictatorial rule that was the landmark of the Duvalier rule. The city of Gonaives was the base of his operations and he was greatly loved if not respected.

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After the Duvalier rule came to an end, Aristide took over. Jean Pierre Baptiste (alias Jean Tatoune) did not spare him either; he led a strong revolt in 1994 that was dubbed the Raboteau massacre after 15 to 25 people were killed in cold blood. This action led to a trial in 2000, after which he was convicted and imprisoned in his hometown of Gonaives.

Jean Tatoune escaped from the prison in August 2, 2002, with the aid of another rebel group who used a stolen tractor to break him out. Jean Pierre Baptiste continued with his antigovernment protests. He was part of the group that seized control over Gonaives in 2004, accusing President Aristide for ordering the assassination of Amiot Mateyer. The rebel group known as Gonaives Resistance Front demanded the resignation of the president. They took over a couple of other towns and eventually forced the president to resign and exile himself.

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