Former dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier reappears in Haiti

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Mexico City, Jan.17 (ANI): Haiti's political crisis took a stunning turn on Sunday when Jean-Claude Duvalier, the dictator known as Baby Doc, returned unexpectedly to the capital Port-au-Prince 25 years after being sent into exile in France.

Haitian television and radio stations reported that Duvalier, dressed in a blue suit, landed shortly after 6 p.m. in Port-au-Prince on an Air France flight and told reporters that he had simply come to help Haiti, moved by images of the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the country.

He did not elaborate on his plans.

The sudden appearance of Duvalier, 59, who ruled Haiti with brutality and corruption for nearly 15 years, threatens to further convulse a country struggling to recover from the earthquake and a lingering cholera epidemic, the New York Times reports.

The Haitian government had no immediate comment.

In 2007, President René Préval said Duvalier could return but would face justice for the money the government said he had looted from the treasury, as well as for the deaths and torture of political opponents at the hands of the secret police.

Duvalier has long flirted with returning, telling reporters over the years that he would like to go home. His nickname derives from his being the son of François Duvalier, known as Papa Doc, a much feared dictator in the 1950s and '60s.

Jean-Claude Duvalier's departure from Haiti 25 years ago, which was arranged with the assistance of the United States, ushered in a period of halting democracy that has continued with tumultuous elections. (ANI)

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