Jean-Claude Duvalier

One of Haiti's infamous leaders, François Duvalier, ruled the country for fourteen long years of tyranny. With his death in 1971, it gave way to a new era of governance of hope and reform, especially with the United States' concern and involvement. The late "Papa Doc" was succeeded by his then nineteen-year-old son Jean-Claude Duvalier.


His term as Haiti's president from 1971 to 1986 was known for his strong ties with the United States, as well as the reforms he has done after his father's brutal policies. Despite these, Jean-Claude, who has been nicknamed "Baby Doc", had a similar distasteful leadership like his father's.

At the very young age of nineteen, Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded his father as the country's most powerful man, making him the youngest president in the world. During the first years of his administration, he introduced several policy reforms, relieved press censorship, and freed several political prisoners which were jailed during his father's rule. Despite these positive changes, Duvalier presidency was marked by violence where individuals who opposed him were tortured or killed by his militia.

The younger Jean-Claude Duvalier was known for his extravagant lifestyle, making use of the country's funds to pay for a three million-dollar wedding and being involved in illegal money-making activities such as drugs and the selling of the deceased's body parts. Finally in 1986, he was thrown out of office by a county-wide rebellion. Jean-Claude exiled himself in France with his family for twenty years but came back to Haiti in 2011. He was then arrested and charged with corruption and has yet to be punished for his crimes.

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