la_vie_noire posting in politics
Did Haiti's Duvalier get away with murder?
Human rights groups have condemned a decision not to try Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti's former ruler, on crimes against humanity.
A Haitian judge decided this week that Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, should not stand trial for crimes against humanity.
He is accused of the torture and murder of thousands of his own people during his 15 year rule in the seventies and eighties.
A year ago, Duvalier made a surprise return to the country after 25 years in exile.
The judge ruled that his alleged crimes fell outside Haiti's statute of limitations. The judge, however, did say that Duvalier should stand trial on corruption charges. He is accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars during his rule.
n heavily criticising the decision, human rights groups say they gave prosecutors hundreds of documents detailing cases of abuse.
Human Rights Watch called it the most important criminal case in Haitian history.
Duvalier was only 19 when he was named Haiti's president for life in 1971 after the death of his father Francois – known as Papa Doc.
Human rights groups say the Duvaliers used paramilitary group Tonton Macoutes to torture opponents and kill 30,000 people during their combined 29-year rule.
"We cannot have reconciliation without justice. Those people who have committed the crime including Duvalier ought to be tried, and the nation ought to find out exactly what happened. We owe it to all those people who died. … I don't things are going to change anytime soon because the institutions in the country are not working ... the US policy has always been to have a weak government in the country."
- Jean-Yves Point-du-Jour, Haitian American radio host