Haitian police detained former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether he was formally arrested or merely taken into custody for questioning about human rights abuses and embezzlement that occurred under his rule in the '70s and '80s. Duvalier made a surprise return to the Caribbean nation on Sunday after nearly 25 years in exile, saying that he was moved by the suffering caused by last year's earthquake and that he "came to help." What should the Haitian government do with him? (Watch a Russia Today report about Duvalier's return)
Haiti should give Duvalier the boot: The dictator known as "Baby Doc" stole millions from his impoverished people, say the editors of the Los Angeles Times. Haiti needs international aid to rebuild, and letting such a notorious "kleptocrat" stay in the country would send a terrible message to donors looking for accountability. The authorities should "escort the former president to the Port-au-Prince airport and buy him a seat — economy class — back to France."
"Send 'Baby Doc' packing"
Jailing Duvalier could help Haiti heal: Duvalier "stands accused of a multiplicity of crimes," say the editors of The Miami Herald, including "extortion, theft of government funds, unlawful execution, torture, crimes against humanity and so forth." Haitian President René Préval once said Duvalier would face justice for the deaths of thousands of his countrymen if he returned. "Now is the time to make good on that promise."
"Return of the dictator"
Duvalier should just leave on his own: Jean-Claude Duvalier's government committed "systematic human rights violations," says The Independent in an editorial, as did that of his father, physician-turned-dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier." Some Haitians want "Baby Doc" back; rivals want him thrown in prison. But such "polarization" is the "last thing" Haiti needs as it tries to rebuild — and contends with a cholera outbreak and a botched presidential election at the same time. Duvalier should "go back to France." Haiti has enough trouble already.
"A broken nation's toxic import"