April 26 1963, Jean-Claude Duvalier at College Bird and the massacre
The father-son Duvalier regime was one of the cruelest in Haiti's history. Blood-thirsty monster François dispatched death squads, the Ton-Ton Macoutes, to kill any citizen suspected of being opposed to his government. People would sometimes disappear at night, never to be seen again. Others were murdered in plain sight of a terrified public. When François received word oppositional factions of the HNP were planning to kidnap son, Jean-Claude, he took swift and retaliatory action. His police torched occupied family homes. In other instances, they separated children from families, imprisoning relatives, tormenting and murdering them.
In 1986, escapees from the 1963 carnage returned to commemorate the event with a protest march. Assembled at Fort Dimanche, torture site of the 1963 event, all of Haitian society was present. The commemorative ceremonies had just begun when the HNP, stationed there, fired upon them. Eleven were gunned down, the rest escaped.
The Duvalier dictatorships were bloodcurdling. They ruled by provocation and retaliation, hindering formation of a democracy. For this reason, the events of April 26, 1963 and 1986 must remain uppermost in Haitians' memories to protect the country from further terrorist rulers.
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