Jean-Bertrand Aristide's bombed church, Saint Jean Bosco, in La Saline, Haiti

The ruins of Father Aristide's church, SaintJohn Bosco, torched by macoutes Not only is Haiti an extremely poor country,but throughout its history it has been ruled by oppressive and cruel governments.

 For years, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a hero of the resistance, had spoken out against the dictatorship, and he survived numerous attempts at assassination. Once in 1987, trapped in his car by raging Tonton Macoute terrorists, he and fellow priests Jean-Marie Vincent and Antoine Adrian narrowly escaped being burned alive. In 1988, macoutes burned his church and opened fire on him and his congregation during mass. 

In 1990, he was elected President of Haiti, but afterseveral months his government was overthrown in a bloody coup d'état.In 1994 he was returned to office. Today the country has a civilian government,but is poorer than ever. 

In recent decades, Haitians have been terrorized by armedthugs known as Tontons Macoutes, who until a few years ago were employedby the government. Today the country has a civilian government, but ispoorer than ever. 

IN DEPTH
See also Father Aristideís account of themany attempts on his and Father Vincentís and other priestsí lives.

 

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