Duvalier hearing this week could be historic, despite U.S. obstruction

Published on CEPR’s Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch Blog, February 20, 2013

In Argentina, Guatemala, Peru and other countries in the region, former dictators and many of those responsible for egregious human rights violations under former authoritarian regimes have been, or are in the process of being tried for their crimes.  In Haiti, for the first time, there appears to be genuine hope that Haiti’s former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier will face human rights charges in court.  But there’s still a very difficult road ahead.

“The Duvalier trial could be the most important criminal case in Haitian history,” Human Rights Watch’s Brody has said. As important as it is in holding Duvalier accountable for human rights crimes and finding justice for victims, its magnitude transcends even this. If Duvalier is allowed to walk free, it would demonstrate that in Haiti some people truly are above the law, and it would send a dangerous message to other rights abusers, past, present and future – of which there are many, a good number of them also notorious, like Duvalier. As Zúñiga said, “It is the whole credibility of the Haitian justice system which is at stake.”

Read more: http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/duvalier-hearing-week-could-be-historic-despite-us-obstruction

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About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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