July 14, 1963
Midday. The government radio Station, Radio Commerce,
interrupted its regular program to broadcast for hours
the popular song "Di fe den kaill la" (Fire
in the house). This song was traditionally played to
manifest the state of political turmoil in the city.
Early in the afternoon, they interrupted their broadcast
once again to read a communiqué regarding the
defeat and extermination of the group of opponents who
"had disturbed the peace" in the country during
the previous months.
Among the group was Clement Barbot,
once Duvalier's damned alter ego and henchman who had
turned against his master over a money issue and/or
a power struggle.
around eight o'clock that evening, an overheating vehicle
barely made it to the top of Delmas road. In a last
effort, the driver kept to the right in front of the
cemetery and scrolled some more, until it could no longer
advance, and finally stopped right in front of the Petion
Ville Police Station, adjacent to the open market. The
sentinel on duty approached the vehicle to offer the
occupants water for their steaming radiator. Damas,
the driver, and Hector Riobe who were seating in the
front, accepted the offer and the sentinel went back
inside the police station.
another guard suspi-ciously approached the vehicle that
appeared strange to him and proceeded to a close inspection.
The vehicle was a Ford pick-up truck rustically converted
into an armored truck. He raised himself from one side
of the truck and discovered in the back three armed
young men. Jean Pierre Hudicourt, Wilhem Turnier and
Jean-Claude Turnier. One of them instinctively fired
a shot and the guard as well as the others in the Police
station took off. The five men - Damas, Jean Pierre
Hudicourt, Wilhem Turnier, Jean Claude Turnier, and
Hector Riobe - had no choice but to abandon the vehicle
rapidly. They took off in different directions.
Damas the driver, a fine elder, had worked with Riobé
on converting the pickup into an armored vehicle. He
was captured near Rivière Froide and he
was never to be seen again.
Wilhelm Turnier was arrested at his house the next day.
He was interrogated and endured his interrogation with
courage and pride. He was sent to Fort-Dimanche to die.
Jean Claude Turnier was also arrested, but as a favor
to a member of the family, Elois Maitre the chief of
Duvalier's secret police promised to save him if he
had not yet been interrogated. He could not do much
for the older brother Wilhlem because his involvement
with Riobe was already established, but it would however
try to save Jean -Claude as well as Webert and Lesly
the two other brothers who were also incarcerated. Fortunately,
Jean-Claude's interrogation did not take place and he
was simply sent to Fort-Dimanche. He was placed in the
same cell than his brother Wilhelm.
Jean Claude recalled the last moment
spent with him and he remembered that his brother was
very strong and very courageous, and had no regret about
being in Fort-Dimanche on death row. He was ready to
accept death with pride and dignity for having opposed
the retrograde regime of Duvalier. Jean Claude was released
shortly thereafter with his two other brothers Webert
and Lesly who was 12 years old. Wilhelm was never to
be seen again. He was allegedly executed in September
1963. He was 26 years old.
Hudicourt, while working with a refrigerating firm,
was able to purchase the tanks of oxygen and acetylene
needed to weld the sheet of metal used in the construction
of the armored truck. Those items could not be purchased
without a special authorization from the Police headquarters.
Jean Pierre and Hector Riobe were together when they
left Petion Ville. They stopped for a short period of
time in Laboule at the home of Jean Pierre's cousin,
Elsie Pierre-Louis, a victim herself of the regime with
the disappearance of her father Rossini Pierre Louis.
recently married Phillipe Faubert who could not take
the risk nor the pressure of harboring Jean Pierre and
Hector as refugees; they moved on to Kenskoff. There
they attacked the police precinct and seized all the
arms and ammunitions of the location. Several soldiers
were killed during the attack. Jean-Pierre was wounded
and tried to find a secure place to recover. But he
was assaulted on July 18 by a peasant who stroke him
in the back of his head inflicting yet another wound.
He was led inside the car of one of Duvalier's henchmen,
Lucien Chauvet, to the Casernes of Petion-Ville. When
he was brought in for interrogation there, he was still
alive, as witnessed by Guy Faubert and Jacques Dufort.
was then transferred to the Military Hospital in Port
au Prince. Dr. Fourcand operated on his wound in the
back of his head. Did he die during the operation or
did he die during further interrogation? One thing for
sure, Jean Pierre Hudicourt was never to be seen again.
Hector Riobe took refuge in a small cave situated on
top of a cliff called Godet in the vicinity of Kenskoff
and kept the Duvalier Army and the Macoute at bay for
days. Heavy artilleries were brought over, but Hector
Riobe alone in his cave did not allow the military personnel
or the macoutes of Duvalier to get close to him. The
government held a funeral with 10 caskets, but no one
will ever know how many were really killed. To put an
end to this embarrassing situation, the army used the
mother of Hector Riobe as a shield
tied up to a horse and placed ahead of the battalion
that was finally able to enter the cave, because Hector
had stopped shooting. When the army entered the cave,
they found Hector Riobé,
lying dead. He had apparently killed himself.
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