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Haiti History: Duvalier -vs- Jeune Haiti

Marcel Numa and Louis Drouin a few minutes before their execution by firing squad led by Franck Romain. (Nov 12, 1964)

The year 1964 was a dark year for many families in Haiti. A group of 13 young people, who had been exiled, formed a coalition to overthrow Duvalier in an invasion (calling themselves Jeune Haiti), and they were tracked down and killed one by one, at least one committed suicide as the mission came to a halt. The last two, seen in this photo above, Marcel Numa and Louis Ardouin were publicly executed, and their execution televised. The town of Jeremie was a site of slaughter, as several families were murdered, some as part of a general purge, and others because they were related to Numa, Ardouin or other members of Jeune Haiti.

According to Wiki

A group of 13 young Haitians calling themselves “Jeune Haiti” landed on August 5 or 6th 1964 at Petite-Rivière-de-Dame-Marie, Haiti, with the intention of overthrowing the regime of François Duvalier, also known as Papa Doc.

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They were Max Armand, his brother Jacques Armand, Gérald Marie Brierre, Miko Chandler, Louis Drouin, Charles Forbin, Jean Gerdes, Réginald Jourdan, Yvon Laraque, Marcel Numa, Roland Rigaud, Gusley Villedrouin and Jacques Wadestrand.

The members of “Jeune Haiti” were killed one by one in combat with the thousands of members of Haiti’s army sent to capture them. Two, out of ammunition, were captured alive: Louis Drouin and Marcel Numa, They were brought back to Port-au-Prince on a Haitian coast guard PT boat and shot in public against the cemetery wall on November 12, 1964.

The fire fights lasted for three months during which the last members of the group walked over 200 km until October 26, 1964, when the last three survivors, Rigaud, Villedrouin and Jourdan, were killed in a gunfight in an area called “Ravine à Roche” near l’Asile. Several of the group were from the town of Jérémie. During two months they fought in the hills, the regime ordered the arrest and murder of Jeune Haiti’s family members, a massacre called the Jérémie Vespers

The first to get killed was Yvan Laraque, who was shot in the area of Chambellan, near Jeremie that Jeune Haiti was attempting to reach. 

On September 8, Gérald Brièrre, the head of the group, Charles Alfred Forbin and Jacques Wadestrandt are killed at Dallest in a firefight against the USMC trained “bataillon tactique”

On September 14, the brothers Jacques and Max Armand are killed at Pic Formand. On September 27, Marcel Numa, the only dark skinned member of the group, is arrested at the Coteaux public market where he had come disguised as a peasant, to buy food for his comrades.

On September 29, at Martinet, Jean Gerdès and Mirko Chandler are wounded in battle. Chandler asked Jourdan, his best friend, to finish him off, while Gerdès committed suicide.

The four survivors began to march east, possibly to reach the Dominican Republic. Louis Drouin was wounded on October 16 and taken prisoner. Guslé Villedrouin, Roland Rigaud and Réginald (Bobby) Jourdan were killed at Ravine Roche, near the town of l’Asile, on October 26.

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