Warlord Charles Taylor‘s life at International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, where he’s been detained since 2006 for his involvement in the conflict in neighboring Sierra Leone, is a hell of a lot better than that of his countless victims. The former president of Liberia is unarguably a Hitler-esque figure to his own people if you look at the kinds of the atrocities he puppeteered from his blood soaked throne. It didn’t matter what nation/tribe you were from (although Americo-Liberians, for which Taylor is a descendant, do have a history of oppressing their native counterparts), Charles Taylor‘s god was greed, blood diamonds, and the almighty dollar. According to the International Criminal Court, “Mr. Taylor is alleged to bear “the greatest responsibility” for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, committed in the territory of Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996 to January 18, 2008.” The eleven counts are listed here.
The inspiration for the surreal yet crazy-authentic character Andre Baptiste, Sr. in Lord of War (which was really, in all its campy glory, way closer to the truth than Blood Diamond could ever dream to be), Taylor encouraged the use of rape and torture as a tool to terrorize and destroy thousands upon thousands of young, adult and elderly women and girls, respectively.
One of Taylor’s right-hand henchmen Joseph D. “Zigzag” Marzah testified:
“In addition to Taylor’s orders, Marzah alleged that Taylor directly participated in the burying alive of a pregnant woman in Monrovia.” And later he continued, “In one massacre in and around Gbarnga, Marzah said he and his men had cut open the bellies of pregnant women and killed babies.”
Here, he stands on trial: