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Tonton Macoute is a paramilitary group, created in 1959 by dictator François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier. In 1970, the militia was officially renamed the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (Militia of National Security Volunteers or MVSN, possibly taken from the homonymously named Italian Fascist paramilitary organization).
From Haitian Creole mythology the group was named Tonton Macoute (Uncle Gunnysack), a bogeyman who kidnaps and punishes unruly children by snaring them in a gunnysack (macoute) and carrying them off to be consumed at breakfast.
The Tontons Macoutes remained active even after the presidency of "Baby Doc" Duvalier (François Duvalier's son) ended in 1986. Massacres led by paramilitary groups spawned from the Macoutes continued during the following decade.
James Doakes was in Haiti when the Macoutes were still active and was so horrified by the crimes committed that he couldn't help himself to shoot a known member of the group, when seeing him in Miami in 2006. Among the crimes they were responsible for, which he described to Maria LaGuerta, were numerous murders and violent acts, including forcing mothers to carry the heads of their dead children, forcing fathers to rape their daughters, drowning people and so on.
Members of the group are often called Tonton Macoutes. There are two known members which were shown in two separate continuities (The Novels/Comics one and the TV series):