jean claude duvalier
Prosper Avril rose to power through his close association with the most powerful family in Haiti.
In 1969 he joined the Presidential Guard. In 1971 he became the personal body guard and close confidante of Jean Claude Duvalier. Prosper Avril was born on December 12th, 1937.
Favorite of the Duvaliers
Avril was in charge of the overseas management. It is said that he was the only other person who had signature authority other than the Duvaliers. This authority was given to handle their foreign accounts. He was called the "bagman" by the Duvaliers.
The Haitian government is led by a president, who shares his/her executive power with the prime minister. Once elected by popular vote, the president will run the country for five years. After the term, the president could not run in the next election. He/she has to wait for five years in order to seek a second term. Haiti presidents can only serve for a maximum of two terms.
Not everyone can run for president as there are certain qualifications and requirements to be eligible for the seat. Only candidates with Haitian citizenship by birth can run for the position, as well as those who are at least 35 years of age. Jail sentence, loss of civil rights and lack of property ownership and residency can make a candidate ineligible to assume the position.
Officials in Haiti have now renewed Jean-Claude Duvalier, former dictator's diplomatic passport. This was stated on Saturday, by Reynold Georges, his attorney.
Customary Practice Of Issuing Diplomatic Passports
He stated that Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country has issued Duvalier's travel document again, after its expiry last month. This has been a customary process for both former Prime Minister's and Ex-Presidents.
Reynold Georges, the attorney stated on phone that, the diplomatic passport had to be reissued, since he has been the Ex-President, which is a practice followed commonly and this is something that should not be discussed by the citizens. After completing 25 years in exile, in 2011, Duvalier returned to Haiti suddenly.
Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier was the son of Papa Doc Francois Duvalier, the 40th Haitian president who was a famous dictator and had once proclaimed to be the President for life. Jean Claude Duvalier took over the throne after his father's death in 1971 at the age of 19 years. He remains to be the youngest president ever to have reigned over any state or country.
After his rise to power, Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier initiated some changes which were drawing Haiti closer to democratic leadership. He released some of the political prisoners who had been jailed, replaced the cabinet members with younger ones and made press quite independent. However, he was no better than his father as he pinned down any opposition and appointment of major government officials were still under his control. His mother, Simone, also offered vital political support to ensure that his son remained in power. To some extent, it worked out well as Baby Doc Jean Claude Duvalier managed to survive on the throne till 1986.
Haiti has historically been besieged by violent upheavals against its governing systems. Securing independence from its status as a slave possession in 1801, ex-slave Toussaint Louverture led the Haitian Revolution, making a conquest of Haiti, and naming himself Governor-General.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines succeeded Louverture in 1804, ruling until his assassination in 1806. Haiti then became a black-dominated northern region and mulatto elite-governed southern region. In 1915, the U.S. began occupying Haiti as a result of another conflict between mulatto elites and blacks. The U.S., concerned about its business interests, stayed until 1934.
When U.S. occupation ended, coup d'etats and provisional presidencies marked the period 1934-1971, until dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier came to office. By 1986, mass uprisings against Duvalier forced him into exile. Henri Namphy, lieutenant general in the Haitian Army, became president after Duvalier's exit.
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.
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.
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.
An unfamiliar aspect of Baby Doc's corrupt rule has received little attention until now. Haitian watercolorist, Jean-Jacques Audubon, bird-life interpreter, became victim to a forgery when fraudulent postage stamps were circulated world-wide as his watercolors. A Haitian attorney and avid stamp collector, with a practiced eye, made the discovery. He notified Duvalier he doubted the stamps were Audubon's original watercolors.
Duvalier reluctantly held an open-court proceeding, and an expert witness gave testimony the stamps were the work of art forgers. Members of Duvalier's government pleaded guilty, convicted and incarcerated. Stamp collectors felt justice was done, and observers said the legal proceedings were an example of a fearless justice system.
A ruling on the charges on former Haitian Dictator Jean Claude Duvalier was finally delivered. Government prosecutor Carves Jean, the judge responsible for investigating the case decided that Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier is to face trial for corruption during the 15-year he was in power in Haiti. Duvalier is alleged to have embezzled between $300 million and $800 million of assets during his presidency.
Not a bad job for 15 years of work!
It was very surprising that the judge didn't think it was necessary for Jean Claude Duvalier to face trial for human rights abused that took place on his watch. We are talking about things like murder, disappearance, torture and other rights abuses for which several people alleged to have been the victims. Several Human Rights groups want Jean Claude Duvalier and some high officials in his government to go on trial for crimes committed in that period.
The question is whether or not the former Haitian dictator, Jean Claude Duvalier, should face trial on corruption and human rights violations? If Haitian president Michel Martelly can have his way, the former Haitian leader will instead have a pardon.
According to an interview given to Associated Press at the World Economic Forum, President Michel Martelly stated that he will respect the independence of the process responsible to determine whether or not Duvalier should face trial on corruption and human rights violations.
Martelly believe that a trial of Jean Claude Duvalier could be explosive to Haiti while we are trying to recover from years of political turmoil and a devastating earthquake two years ago.
Our objective is to share with you news and information about Haiti and the people of Haiti. Traditions, habits and the way we were or grew are alive in this site. We highly recommend that you Subscribe to our Newsletter and also share with us some of the things that are memorable and made us unique people.