Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011

Jean-Claude Duvalier

Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier became the youngest President in the world when he took over Haiti following the death of his father François in 1971. A fresh-faced 19-year-old, Duvalier initially tried to institute limited reforms, but ultimately he maintained many of the policies of his father's ruthless, dictatorial regime. He flaunted a lavish lifestyle while millions of Haitians languished in poverty, and in the face of a growing populist movement against him, Duvalier and his wife fled Haiti for France in 1986. In 2011 he resurfaced in a surprise return to Haiti, claiming he wanted to participate in his country's reconstruction in the aftermath of its earthquake and cholera epidemic. He now potentially faces charges of corruption and embezzlement.