Tontons Macoutes

27 June, 2008

This was the name given to the members of the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (National Security Volunteers), François and Jean-Claude Duvalier’s militia force, created because Papa Doc did not trust the military to guarantee his safety. The Tonton Macoutes, or macoutes, became an important piece of the repression apparatus of the regime, which used them to terrorize, torture and kill opponents (Diederich and Burt, 2005). According to Pierre-Charles (1973), the urban lumpenproletariat was the social background of most macoutes. At the time they were disbanded, in February 1986, there were several thousand macoutes around the country.

Cite this item

Belleau Jean-Philippe, Tontons Macoutes, Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 27 June, 2008, accessed 17/02/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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