Haitian Video Movies Archive
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Tonton Macoutes

Tonton Macoutes (properly Tonton-Makout or Tontonmakout, sing. and pl.), a Haitian term that describes an old folktale character (Uncle Knapsack) who snatches children into a knapsack or basket (makout) and often eats them alive. In the late 1950s, Haitians applied this term to the masked goons working for François Duvalier's secret police, a largely middle-class organization set up to control urban opposition.

Although at first the regime denied the existence of the secret police, in 1962 it presented the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (VSN), a new civil militia composed primarily of peasants, as the official version of the dreaded Tonton Macoutes. In fact, although most VSN leaders were members of the political police, most Tonton Macoutes did not formally join the militia as milisyen.

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  • Size
    525 MB
  • Duration
    58 minutes
  • Resolution
    854 x 478 px
  • Size525 MB
  • Duration58 minutes
  • Resolution854 x 478 px
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