Luckner James Cambronne, head of Haiti Tonton Macoutes militiamen

Luckner James Cambronne, head of Haiti Tonton Macoutes militiamen

Luckner James Cambronne, born Arcahaie, Haiti 1929, former leader of the dreaded Tonton Macoute militiamen. He was the second most feared man in Haiti during the dictatorship of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Luckner James Cambronne was widely known as "The Vampire of the Caribbean" for his business of transporting Haitian blood and cadavers to US Hospitals, Medical schools and other foreign hospitals for huge profit.

Luckner Cambronne (30 October 1930 - 24 September 2006) was a high profile Haitian politician who rose to the number two position in power during François Duvalier's regime in Haiti. Luckner, the son of a poor preacher had a career as a bank teller, but his alliance with François Duvalier brought him to the powerful political arena where he started out his political career as a messenger for Duvalier, and to finally become second in command and head of his fearsome private militia popularly known as the Tonton Macoutes throughout the 1960's and the beginning of the 1970's. Duvalier created the militia because he felt threatened by the Haitian army. During their reign of terror, the group slaughtered more than 600,000 Haitians.

Luckner's unique brand of cruelty enabled him to become very rich and earned him the nickname "Vampire of the Caribbean." He was named 'Vampire' because of his lucrative practice of selling corpses and blood of Haitians to US and other foreign hospitals at a huge profit. His brutality was incomparable. Luckner never hesitated to kill innocent people for the growth of his business. He used to buy Haitian cadavers from the General Hospital in the capital, Port-au-Prince, for 15 gourdes ($3) a piece to sell them to American medical schools. This made many unfortunate mourners to find their loved one's coffins mysteriously empty. In some cases, it was found that the exported bodies were still alive and they were shipped for high value, resulting in huge profits.

Tonton Macoutes" had a cruel practice of frequent random executions; they often stoned and burned people alive. After the death of François Duvalier in 1971, Cambronne was said to oppose Papa Doc's nomination of his 19-year-old son Jean-Claude Duvalier as successor, but Jean-Claude's mother, Simone Duvalier, outmaneuvered Cambronne and insisted on his exile. Lastly, Cambronne moved to Miami, Florida, in 1972 where he died on 24 September 2006.

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