Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier has died

2014-10-05 09:13
Jean-Claude Duvalier. (File, AFP)

Jean-Claude Duvalier. (File, AFP)

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Port-au-Prince - Ousted Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier died Saturday at the age of 63 near Port-au-Prince, where he had returned in 2011 after 25 years in exile.

Duvalier reportedly died of a heart attack at a friend's home.

President Michel Martelly announced the death on Twitter and expressed his condolences, without any mention of the abuses that were committed during the fearsome rule of the Duvalier family.

Duvalier was commonly referred to as Baby Doc, in reference to his father, Francois, an erstwhile country doctor popularly known as Papa Doc, who ruled the half-island with an iron fist for 14 years until his death in 1971.

The son succeeded him at the young age of 19, and reigned for the next 15 years. He was known for his lavish personal lifestyle in one of the world's poorest countries, and for the continued brutality against his regime's critics.

A popular revolt against poverty and shortages spread throughout the nation in 1985, culminating with Duvalier fleeing to exile in France aboard a US Air Force plane.

He made a surprise return to Haiti in 2011, after saying that life in exile had "broken him," and insisting that he wanted to help the country after a catastrophic earthquake of the previous year.

Duvalier was charged with corruption and misappropriation of public funds upon his return, but the prosecution sputtered and stalled. He was said to have lived out his remaining days under loosely enforced house arrest.

Read more on:    jean-claude duvalier  |  haiti

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