PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Victims of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s brutal former Haitian regime vowed on Sunday that his sudden death would not rob them of a chance to seek justice for his crimes.
Many in this impoverished Caribbean nation, whose young population has suffered much since Duvalier fled into exile in 1986, have shrugged off his death on Sunday and gone about their lives.
But those representing the victims of his bloody persecution of supposed opposition figures, said they would continue to pursue him and surviving allies through the courts.
Baby Doc, who in 1971 came to office aged only 19 on the death of his ruthless father, died on Saturday of a heart attack at age 63 without ever having to account for the corruption and brutality of his rue.
An estimated 30,000 people were killed during his reign and that of his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, before him, rights activists say. Baby Doc, who returned to Haiti in 2011 after 25 years in often luxurious exile, had been facing charges of crimes against humanity, torturing his opponents, and embezzlement.
After his death was announced, one of the plaintiffs, Nicole Magloire, vowed “not to give up.”
Lawyers without Borders Canada, the main partner of an anti-impunity group that represents most of the victims in the case against Duvalier and his collaborators, said Baby Doc’s death “doesn’t put an end to prosecutions of the main people responsible for the serious human rights violations committed under the Duvalier regime.”
“More than ever, the right to justice and the reparation for victims should be fully respected and put in place,” the group said.
And the Haiti-based Center for Analysis and Research on Human Rights said Duvalier’s death “does not in any way prevent the continuation of judicial processes against him and his regime.”