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Date Formed:
Unknown number of members
Last Attack:
May 7, 1991
Financial Sources:

Duvalier, Francois
Tontons Macoutes Militia Member
US Terrorist Exclusion List Designee: No
UK Proscribed Group: No
Australia Specified Group: No
Canada Specified Group: No
EU Specified Group: No

Tontons Macoutes

Aliases: Boogeymen, National Security Volunteers

Base of Operation: Haiti

Founding Philosophy: The Tontons Macoutes were a militia loyal to longtime Haitian dictator Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, and later to his son, Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier. The Tontons Macoutes, “boogeymen” in Haitian Creole, were created as a paramilitary force to be stronger than the Haitian Army, in order to guard the Duvalier regime against assassination attempts in the midst of Haiti’s violent political climate. They eventually became a force for controlling public discontent and political adversaries of the Duvaliers, ensuring their continued reign in Haiti.

“Tonton Macoute” is a figure from Haitian folklore, usually represented as an old man who captures children and places them in a bag.

Current Goals: Political unrest has continued in Haiti well past the reign of the Duvaliers. Political-oriented armed gangs have become a major source of violence in the streets of Haiti, with frequent battles between supporters of ousted Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide and their opponents. Sources claim that anti-Aristide groups have in their ranks former members of the Tontons Macoutes, some of whom became integrated into the Haitian police and military services.


Additional Resources
"Haiti Ou La Revanche des Tontons Macoutes," Joao Quartim de Moraes, Le Nouvel Afrique-Asie
"Glossary: Tontons Macoutes," The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
"On This Day: 22 April 1971 Haitian dictator dies," BBC

Related Categories
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Location > Latin America > Haiti
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Location > Latin America
Knowledge Base Directory > Groups > Ideology > Nationalist/Separatist

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TKB Data Status
Incident data: Last updated on Apr. 3, 2005
Indictment data: Last updated on Jan. 19, 2005

  Data is subject to revision as events and additional information warrant.
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1968 - Present
Incidents Injuries Fatalities
2 0 2
Business 50%
Journalists & Media 50%
Data for 1968-1997 covers only international incidents.
Data for 1998-Present covers both domestic and international incidents.

Tontons Macoutes attacked Business target (May 7, 1991, United States)

Tontons Macoutes attacked Journalists & Media target (May 7, 1991, United States)