Hector Riobé

Photo of Riobe scanned from Dr Gerard Boyer book's - Album Souvenir. Additional information on Riobe or Jean-Pierre Hudicourt could be forwarded to fordi9.com or to Giles Hudicourt as mentioned in an article published by him on the web.
Photo of Hector Riobe while still alive
Andre Riobe
Past Honorees
Clement Jumelle 
Mme Pierre Estiverne
Ulrick Jolly
Cpt. Chenon Michel
Col. Henri Clermont
Lucette Ambroise
Franck Simon
Frank Seraphin
• Hector Riobé
Wilhem Turnier
 
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Affair Riobé

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 stru
ggle.

At 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.

Meanwhile 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.

Jean Pierre 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.

Elsie had 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.

Jean Pierre 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

She was 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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In May 1987.- after months of discusion, more than 50 survivors of the Duvaliers regime signed the by-laws of an organization called "Pa Blié" for the purpose of documenting the atrocities of the Duvalier regime. Their slogan "Bay kou blie, pote mak songe" characterized their threefold mission of:

  1. Establishing a museum;
  2. Developing a park where each tree would be dedicated to a specific victim; and,
  3. Enact into law April 26 as the " Haitian Anti-Repression Day."

"Pa blie" collected hundreds of historical photographs and artifacts related to this repressive era and shared them with the public at several exhibits. This movement has been silent in recent past and unfortuna-tely no apparent effort is being made to give the victims their earned legacy.

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