Duvalier returned to Haiti yesterday from France where he has lived in exile since 1986.
“Duvalier’s return to Haiti should be for one purpose only: to face justice,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas Director of Human Rights Watch. “Under the presidency of Duvalier and his Tonton Macoutes, thousands were killed and tortured, and hundreds of thousands of Haitians fled into exile. His time to be held accountable is long overdue.”
Jean‑Claude Duvalier was Haiti’s “president for life” from 1971 to 1986, succeeding his father François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. The Duvaliers are estimated to have ordered the deaths of between twenty and thirty thousand Haitian civilians. The brutality of their government created the modern Haitian diaspora, driving hundreds of thousands of Haitians into exile in Canada, France, the United States, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.