April 26 1963, Jean-Claude Duvalier at College Bird and the massacre

April 26th is an infamous day in Haiti's history. Two events of senseless violence, 23 years apart, occurred on that date. In 1963, mass killings of soldiers and their loved ones by Haitian National Police (HNP) were ordered by François Duvalier, in advance of son Jean-Claude's planned abduction. In 1986 at a commemoration to honor victims and families' murders and maiming, another mass killing occurred.

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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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Read more: jean claude duvalier, assassination, Abduction, massacre, Tonton Macoute, Francois Duvalier, Fort Dimanche, College Bird, 1963, Security Crime Law and Order

Related Photos

Massacre of April 26, 1986 by Francois Duvalier   The massacre of La Scierie, town of Saint-Marc   The Haiti Massacre of 1804   St Jean Bosco massacre in Haiti   The Massacre of March 29, 1969 in Casale as Duvalier fighting Communism in Haiti   Massacre At Raboteau, FRAPH Arrest, Beat And Throw Victims Like Garbage   Massacre At Raboteau, FRAPH Arrested In Raboteau, Tortured  

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