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Sat, 10.31.2020

The St. Jean Bosco Church massacre occurs

*The St. Jean Bosco Church massacre took place in Haiti on this date in 1988.  

Close to 50 people were killed and around 80 wounded in a three-hour assault in Port-au-Prince, which saw the church burned down.   The structure was the parish of future President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, then a liberation theology Roman Catholic priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco order and had been packed with 1000 people for Sunday mass. Aristide, who had survived at least six attempts on his life after a fiery 1985 Mass had helped spark the unrest.

This eventually led to the overthrow of the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.  According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the following day, "five men and one woman appeared on the government-controlled television station and admitted their participation in the attack on the church. They threatened a 'heap of corpses' at any future mass celebrated by Aristide.  In 1991, after Aristide had been elected President in the Haitian general election, 1990–1991, his Minister of Justice accused Romain of responsibility, and sought his extradition from the Dominican Republic, where he was living in exile, without success. 

Reference:

HRW.org

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