Crime/Justice

From cradle to grave, United States protected Jean-Claude Duvalier – IndyStar


In February 2013, I stood in a sweaty, overcrowded Port-au-Prince courtroom and watched as Jean-Claude Duvalier answered questions about hundreds of his political opponents being arrested, imprisoned, and killed during his tenure as Haiti’s “President for Life.”Many of Duvalier’s rivals were held in the notorious three prisons known collectively as the “Triangle of Death”— Casernes Dessalines, Fort Dimanche, and the National Penitentiary. One political prisoner held in the Casernes Dessalines recalls being placed in a cell underneath the grounds of the National Palace, where Duvalier lived. The prisoner was led to an area so dark he could not see, but a guard’s torchlight revealed the man was locked in a room amid the skeletons of former prisoners.At the court hearing I attended, Duvalier ducked responsibility, saying that the killing and oppression was done without his knowledge.Then he walked out a free man, which is how he died earlier this month, at age 63. Court rulings werepending at his death, but the process was moving at a glacial pace and several of the interim decisions had been in Duvalier’s favor. Meanwhile, Duvalier met with Haitian and international political leaders, was acknowledged on the dais at public events, and was spotted dining at expensive restaurants. via IndyStar

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