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7135: Whatever happened to ... 'Baby Doc' Duvalier? (fwd)

From: radman <resist@best.com>


'WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...?' 'Baby Doc' Duvalier


Jean-Claude Duvalier was only 19 when he became Haiti's second "president 
for life." "Baby Doc," as he was called, became dictator in 1971, after the 
death of his father, François, who had ruled since 1957. Both Duvaliers 
maintained power by relying on their feared secret police, the Tontons 
The United States pressured "Baby Doc" to reform his regime, which was 
marked by corruption, oppression, and torture.  The younger Duvalier made 
only minor reforms while reportedly embezzling at least $120 million in 
oil, flour, and tobacco taxes.
In 1986, a popular uprising forced Duvalier out. He fled to France, where 
he still lives. Last year, Duvalier told Newsday that he wanted to regain 
power in Haiti. But his bid for president in September 2000 failed.
Meanwhile, a group of Haitian exiles in France lodged a complaint against 
Duvalier in 1999, alleging "crimes against humanity." Current French law 
only addresses crimes against humanity committed by the Axis powers in 
World War II, however.
Despite the longtime protection it has given Duvalier, France has never 
granted him refugee status. Today, he is reportedly ill and impoverished.