July 31, 1991 |
The former head of the Duvalier family's brutal private militia was convicted Tuesday of leading a coup attempt and was sentenced to life in prison at hard labor. Many Haitians viewed the trial of Roger Lafontant, a doctor who became one of the ousted dictatorship's most feared henchmen, as a symbol of the final demise of Duvalier rule.
July 30, 1991 |
Sailors at the Haitian capital's main naval base mutinied and seized senior officers Monday, accusing them of plotting a coup to overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A spokesman for the mutineers told a local radio station that they arrested their commanding officers to ensure that the trial of Roger Lafontant, a former interior minister and accused coup leader, would start that day, as scheduled.
January 9, 1991 |
Stained by the ashes of burned buildings, tires and bodies, Haiti's capital city slowly returned to normal Tuesday after mobs rampaged, demolishing even church properties, after an attempted coup d'etat. The death toll exceeded 50, according to an official who counted 44 burned and mutilated bodies in the city morgue alone.
January 7, 1991 |
Roger Lafontant, feared leader of a faction loyal to exiled dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, claimed early today to have seized power in Haiti after a two-hour gun battle near the presidential palace. "I have assumed the presidency of the republic," Lafontant said in a one-sentence statement today on the state-run Radio Nacional. Provisional President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, in a brief statement from the palace broadcast on the radio, said she was stepping down.
January 8, 1991 |
A short-lived attempt to seize power by the reputed chief torturer of the Duvalier regime was put down by the Haitian army Monday. The abortive coup d'etat by followers of Roger Lafontant touched off the worst mob rampages in Haiti's bloody recent history, leaving a reported 40 people dead, many of them lynched in rings of burning rubber tires. Most of the victims appeared to be followers of Lafontant, who was interior minister under dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier.
October 21, 1990 |
Graffiti artists using human excrement as their medium of political expression smeared the malodorous slogan "Worst is still to come" on the walls of four voter registration offices in Haiti earlier this month. "Next time we will use gasoline," added one piece of graffito. As the sloganeers suggested, Haiti's upcoming national elections, now scheduled for Dec. 16, may turn dirty.