So they’re all reporting on Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier’s unexpected appearance in court (on Thursday). Does it matter?
I would venture to suggest that all that’s happening in Haiti – no matter how it turns out, and whenever, wherever – is an example – perhaps even a beacon – to other parts of the world. Even for countries like India – so far ahead, apparently, of Haiti in economic and other indicators.
The two words to cite as a similar example alleged impunity and gross impudence: Narendra Modi. The chief minister of Gujarat is a controversial figure – both within India and internationally. Modi, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, stands accused of failing to stop (perhaps even masterminding) the murder of hundreds of Muslims in an orgy of violence in the spring of 2002. Tab across to Haiti and Mr Duvalier is accused of ruling his impoverished country with an iron fist for 15 years, with a little help from his private militia, the Tonton Macoutes.
Mr Duvalier was in a Port au Prince court last week. Does that mean he will be tried for his alleged crimes? Does that mean Haiti is following rule of law?
No. But, the pathway of rules is a good way to go. And yet, in India, Modi is increasingly – frighteningly even – being seen as the Indian best equipped to deal with tomorrow’s world; to represent a resurgent India to the world? To run for prime minister, perchance to win it. Impunity?