| Patrick Lemoine
Photographed in 1996

Patrick Lemoine with his son Olivier and his older brother Rodney on the day of his release.

Patrick Lemoine, the middle child of a family of five children, spent his childhood in the vicinity of a slum called Bois-de-Chêne located in the center of Port-au-Prince near the National Palace. Growing up in that neighborhood, he experienced first-hand the social injustice that is so prevalent in Haiti. He attended Catholic and other private schools until he completed his secondary education.

When Patrick was 19, he lost his father Raoul, who died at the age of 54 in 1964. Two years later, his mother Fernande immigrated to the United States with her children. Patrick decided to go back to his homeland a year later and worked at the International Airport of Port-au-Prince for a couple of years. In 1969 he returned for a short period of time to the United States. He eventually landed back in Haiti where he started a family and managed a small manufacturing company until his arrest at the end of 1971, shortly after Baby Doc’s ascent to power.

By God’s grace, Patrick survived his six years of torturous emprisonment, four of which were spent in Fort-Dimanche,and was released in 1977 - thanks to the Human Rights policy of the Carter administration -, then was expelled from the country. Patrick finally settled in the United States where he still resides. He started a new family, graduated from Teterboro School of Aeronautics, and began a career in aviation technology. He is currently a member of the management team for an airline company.

Patrick spent many years working intermittently on his memoirs. In 1996 his dream was realized with the release of the French version of his testimonial, Fort-Dimanche, Fort-la-Mort. In 1999 he published the revised and augmented English version of the original book, Fort-Dimanche-Dungeon of Death, to immortalize the memory of his comrades who perished under the infernal regime of the Duvaliers.

Your story, while full of atrocities and injustices, shows that man also has the potential, through his strength, faith and compassion, to endure and persevere. The cruelties visited upon your compatriots and yourself both anger and disgust me, and it’s hard to believe that I live in a world where man constantly raises his hand against another. I can only pray that as more people read your story, or the memoirs of the holocaust or today’s news about ethnic cleansing in places like Kosovo, that others like yourself will have the courage to say enough.

Christopher Garcia
Visual Project Manager, Lady Foot Locker