Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator who was highly instrumental in turning the country into an impoverished nation, has died at the age of 63 from an apparent heart attack.
Reports Raw Story:
Baby Doc’s death in the capital Port-au-Prince was announced by the health minister, Florence Guillaume Duperval, who said the cause appeared to be a massive heart attack.
“The family phoned us this morning asking us to send a (medical) helicopter,” she told AFP.
“They tried to administer first aid to him on the scene, but he died” a short time later, she said.
The death of Baby Doc, as he was commonly known, marks the end of a dark chapter for a desperate country plundered first by his ruthless father — Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, a physician-turned-populist politician — before being further ravaged by his son.
An estimated 30,000 people were killed during the reign of the Duvalier father and son, rights activists say.
In 1986, he was forced into exile in a popular uprising, as pro-democracy forces rallied in the streets amid international condemnation of the rampant human rights abuses during his regime.
Baby Doc fled Haiti for a life of luxury in France, thanks to the hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly pilfered from the coffers of the most impoverished country in the Americas.
He was said in reports to have looted as much as $300 million before being forced to flee.
In 2011, Baby Doc faced a series of charges including corruption and misappropriation of funds, but the legal process never moved swiftly enough for any prosecution to transpire.
His death is being received with mixed opinions, most notably the current Haitian President Michel Martelly, eulogizing him with honor on Twitter.
Check out some of the reactions to his death in the gallery below.
Photos: Prides of Haiti, Twitter
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