Cacos (military group)

Cacos were bodies of armed men, originally drawn from the enslaved population of Haiti, who came to wield power in the mountainous regions of Haiti following the victory of the Haitian Revolution in 1804.[1] The nickname "cacos" was derived from local terms for the red-plumed Hispaniolan trogon because the insurgents "used to hide, like the bird of the same name, under the leaves so as to come unexpectedly upon and attack their enemy."[2]

Fighting during US occupation 1915–1934

U.S. Marines and guide in search of bandits. Haiti, circa 1919., 1927 - 1981 - NARA - 532584
US Marines in search of Cacos, circa 1919

The United States landed in Haiti to restore order on 28 July 1915, and maintained a force of marines to occupy the island until 1934. While US forces were able to pacify the cities quite quickly, the Cacos maintained a rebellion in the mountainous areas to the north. Despite lack of local support, near Cap-Haïtien the Cacos threatened to defeat the US Marines at the Battle of Fort Dipitie, but skilful use of reinforcements enabled the Marines to launch a surprise counter attack that resulted in the entire Caco force being either killed or taken prisoner. The marines then slowly advanced upon the mountainous Cacos territory, eventually trapping and defeating the remnants of the guerilla force at the Battle of Fort Rivière.

Prominent Cacos leaders

  • Charlemagne Péralte emerged as one of the Cacos leaders from his escape from captivity until his death on 1 November 1919.
  • Benoît Batraville, a lieutenant of Péralte, took over as commander of the Cacos in December 1919. He was killed by the US Marines on 20 May 1920.[3]


  1. ^ Tierney, Jr., John. "America's "Black Vietnam": Haiti's Cacos vs. The Marine Corps, 1915-22". The Institute of World Politics. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  2. ^ Horace Pauleus Sannon (1938). Histoire de Toussaint-Louverture. Port au Prince: Aug. A. Heraux. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Haïti– Identité : Manifestation à Savanette pour la réforme de l'Etat civil national". AlterPresse. Retrieved 20 October 2017.

Cacos may refer to:

Cacos (C Standard Library)

Cacos (military group)

United States involvement in regime change

United States involvement in regime change has entailed both overt and covert actions aimed at altering, replacing, or preserving foreign governments. In the latter half of the 19th century, the U.S. government initiated actions for regime change mainly in Latin America and the southwest Pacific, and included the Mexican–American, Spanish–American and Philippine–American wars. At the onset of the 20th century the United States shaped or installed friendly governments in many countries around the world, including neighbors Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

During World War II, the United States helped overthrow many Nazi Germany or imperial Japanese puppet regimes. Examples include regimes in the Philippines, Korea, the Eastern portion of China, and much of Europe. United States forces were also instrumental in ending the rule of Adolf Hitler over Germany and of Benito Mussolini over Italy.

In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. government struggled with the Soviet Union for global leadership and influence within the context of the Cold War. It expanded the geographic scope of its actions beyond its traditional area of operations, Central America and the Caribbean. Significant operations included the U.S. and U.K.-orchestrated 1953 Iranian coup d'état, the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion targeting Cuba, and support for the overthrow of Sukarno by Army General Suharto in Indonesia. In addition, the U.S. has interfered in the national elections of many countries, including in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s to keep its preferred center-right Liberal Democratic Party in power using secret funds, in the Philippines to orchestrate the campaign of Ramon Magsaysay for president in 1953, and in Lebanon to help Christian parties in the 1957 elections using secret cash infusions. The U.S. has executed at least 81 overt and covert known interventions in foreign elections during the period 1946–2000.Also after World War II, the United States in 1945 ratified the UN Charter, the preeminent international law document, which legally bound the U.S. government to the Charter's provisions, including Article 2(4), which prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations, except in very limited circumstances. Therefore, any legal claim advanced to justify regime change by a foreign power carries a particularly heavy burden.Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States has led or supported wars to determine the governance of a number of countries. Stated U.S. aims in these conflicts have included fighting the War on Terror as in the 2001 Afghan war, or removing dictatorial and hostile regimes in the 2003 Iraq War and 2011 military intervention in Libya.

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