The media, and even human rights groups and many progressives, seemed to miss an important point: Duvalier, like Ríos Montt and the Argentine generals, had accomplices and enablers who are still free to walk the streets of New York and Washington.
By David Wilson, Truthout March 21, 2013
Human Rights Watch spokesperson Reed Brody called it "historic": on February 28 former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier was forced to appear before a Port-au-Prince appeals court to discuss criminal complaints filed against him by victims of his 1971-1986 regime. The occasion was significant regardless of the outcome of the now ongoing trial of Duvalier. "Whatever happens next," Brody said, "Haitians will remember the image of their former dictator having to answer questions about the repression carried out under his rule."
This was only the latest in a number of encouraging developments involving former dictators forced to confront their crimes from the 1970s and 1980s. Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala's military ruler from 1982 to 1983, faces charges in a trial that began on March 19 for the deaths of indigenous campesino civilians, while dozens of former Argentine officials are in jail or on trial for the "disappearances" of as many as 30,000 suspected leftists in the 1976-1983 "dirty war." [...]
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