Charles Henri Baker

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Charles Henri Baker
Born (1955-06-03) June 3, 1955 (age 61)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Occupation Industrialist, politician

Charles-Henri Jean-Marie Baker (born June 3, 1955) is a Haitian industrialist and presidential candidate. He is a former member of the Group of 184.[1] Baker was a candidate for president in Haiti's 2006 and 2010 elections.

Early and personal life[edit]

Baker was born in Port-au-Prince. His father Édouard Baker was a mulatto who was a prominent engineer, agronomist, well-known soccer player, and son[2][3] of an Episcopalian missionary from England, who married an Afro-Haitian woman. His mother, Louise Barranco, was a businesswoman from a light-skinned mulatto elite family,[3][note 1] who was the founder of the first supermarket chain in Haiti and whose father was a trader. Baker has two brothers and three sisters.

After completing his elementary education in Haiti, he traveled to the United States. In 1972 he graduated from Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California. He later attended Saint Leo University in Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1976. In 1975, he married Marie Florence Apaid, sister of André Apaid. He has four children and seven grandchildren.[5]

Business career[edit]

Baker began his business career as a manager at the age 21 in his family-owned and operated supermarket chain. When his father became ill, he took over the family-owned 90-acre farm Habitation Dujour, which grew sugarcane, banana, and tobacco. Eventually, the land expanded another 120 acres which made it the largest flue-cured tobacco farm in Haiti, with more than 200 acres. Simultaneously, from 1982 to 1985 he worked with the tobacco growers of Haiti through the Comme il faut Company, where he held the position of Assistant to the Leaf Growing Manager.[5]

Beginning in the late 1980s, Baker purchased a garment factory, Pantalon Boucanier S.A.. This factory, which is monitored by Betterworks an affiliate of OIT, adheres to strict international standards. It employs hundreds of Haitians who are paid the minimum salary required by Haitian law. It has set up an incentive program which permits workers to make 50% more than the minimum salary while getting the 25% benefits required by Haitian law. Baker sells the garments produced in these factories to major corporations such as Walmart and K-Mart.

In 2000, he joined the Association des Industries d’Haïti as a member and a year later became its vice president.[5]

Baker was a prominent member of the Group of 184 (G 184), a coalition of Haitian organizations opposing Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The group's actions contributed to the coup d'état against Aristide in 2004.[6]

2006 Haitian presidential election[edit]

In August 2005, Baker announced his intention to run for the president of Haiti in the elections originally planned for November 2005 but later moved to February 2006.

Baker and his Respè coalition received 8.24 percent of the vote, losing to René Préval.

2010 Haitian presidential election[edit]

Charles Henri Baker ran for President of Haiti in the November 28, 2010 Haiti elections, under the Respè Party of Haiti.[7][8] Newspaper articles alleged that Baker tried to buy votes in the run-up to the elections.[9]


  • "I have one country, and four children. I don’t plan on living any place else. I love my country, I love the Haitian people. I’m proud to be a candidate for public office in Haiti."[10]
  • "I’m not going anywhere. Haiti is my home. I've been fighting for democracy for thirty years, and I’ll continue to fight for what I believe in."[10]
  • "All Haitians have been placed on a equal level field. The rich and poor, uneducated and educated, the street merchant and the elite business community have all suffered tremendously. Not only did the earth move but the thoughts of many of us who live in Haiti have been shaken from the past ways of doing things, to the desire to get Haiti right in its rebuilding."[11]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Her family has Spanish descent since Barranco is a surname originated in Spain.[4]
  1. ^ OAS Secretary General’s Quarterly Report on the Situation in Haiti, October 24, 2005 Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Haiti divided by Race, Wealth". Port-au-Prince: The Washington Times. 5 April 2004. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014. (...) Marie Louise Baker (...) Mrs. Baker's grandfather was an Episcopal missionary from England, her other grandfather a trader, and her father an agronomist. She and some of her siblings opened their first, small sewing operation in 1970, making it grow through hard work, constant attention and steady reinvestment of the profits. Her brother, Charles, is one of the most outspoken leaders of the Group of 184, a coalition of business, civic and peasant groups that sprang up in the past 18 months seeking to resolve Haiti's political crisis. 
  3. ^ a b Michael R. Hall (2012). Historical Dictionary of Haiti. Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A.: Scarecrow Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-8108-7810-5. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Barranco Family History". Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ The Puzzling Alliance of Chavannes Jean-Baptiste and Charles Henri Baker, CounterPunch, March 1, 2006
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b [1]
  11. ^ [2]

External links[edit]