| Fort-Dimanche

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When was the Fort-Dimanche Barracks build?
It is believed that Fort Dimanche was built during the first U.S. occupation of Haiti in 1915 –1934, by the American Marine Corps, who used it strictly as a shooting range for the training of military personnel until 1934.

And then…Thereafter, the Haitian governments secretly used the Fort to house a few political prisoners while the range for military training continued at the site. For example,it is believed that this is where Daniel Fignolé, the provisional president who was forced to resign after 19 days in power in 1957, was kept prisoner. The massacre of his supporters who went to look for him there on that day suggests that notion.
(See FD page 169).

The Duvalier Era…
When Duvalier senior rose to power, the fort was still used as a military shooting range but it soon became the headquarters and training center of Duvalier's militia. Within a short period of time, Fort-Dimanche became mainly an interrogation post and a center of torture. The buildings that housed the militia's offices and the political prisoners were built in the early 1960s.

What almost was…

Fort Dimanche soon to become a museum…
On January 31, 1991, the newly elected mayor of Port-au-Prince, Evans Paul announced in a press conference that Fort Dimanche, the symbol of repression and torture of the Duvalier regime, will be transformed into a museum. It was at that infamous dungeon that most political opponents to the regime were incacerated. Mayor Evans Paul announced that all instruments of torture will be put in display to better educate our future generations of such horrors.
On the right, what remains today…

Haiti's "inferno" to become memorial to those killed there
By J.P. Slavin
Special to the National Catholic Reporter.


For a close-up of the infamous jail house, where most political prisoners were incarcerated click here