By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
Pinned to the front door is a huge silver snowflake, absurd and wilting in the summer heat. Christmas lights dangle from the gutters, and a single 30-pound barbell lies in the driveway. No one seems to live here now. But neighbor Marie Jean remembers when Jordán and his family did. They looked like anyone else on the block of immigrants from Central American mountain towns and Caribbean islands, she says. Jordán cooked Italian food at a golf club, and his relatives kept to themselves."They didn't have any kids, so we never ran into them," Jean says. "It's an OK neighborhood here." Then she flashes a bright smile and looks up shyly from downcast eyes. "But you never really know nobody, do you?"
The aftermath: Early in the morning of May 5 of this year, a team of ICE agents swarmed Jordán's home after blocking traffic on Palm Ridge. He was booked for lying about his military service on his immigration application. He surrendered without a fight. In July, Jordán admitted to his role in the massacre, and a federal judge ordered him held without bond. He could face up to ten years in U.S. prison and deportation to Guatemala, where the police have filed criminal charges over his role at Dos Erres.
Terrifying nickname: The Mafia's President
Iron-fisted infamy: If Machado brought modern dictatorship to Cuba, Fulgencio Batista perfected it — and then sold his country to the Mafia. After leading a revolt against Machado in 1933, he governed in the shadows until 1940, when he won a four-year term as president. Following a short break in South Florida, he returned to Cuba in 1952 to wrench power from a democratically elected government as part of a U.S.-backed coup. He held power for seven more years, during which he invited Meyer Lansky and other gangsters to Havana. Anyone who didn't like the arrangement was welcome to a .38 bullet between the eyes or a decade-long vacay on the Isle of Pines.
Batista was such a colossal jerk that most Cubans rejoiced when a socialist named Fidel Castro stormed into town and forced him out. So you can thank ol' F.B. for 50 years of bad tracksuits and bloviating anti-yanqui speeches.
Finding him in South Florida: 640 NW North River Drive, Miami, worth $428,836. In the late '60s, Jerry Enis was a young, boating-crazy physician when he found a two-story, salmon-pink residence for sale in the historic Spring Garden neighborhood.
From the outside, it looked perfect. It had a sprawling lawn and a swimming pool. Best of all, the home sat right on the Miami River. Enis telephoned the owner, a Dominican, who warned him before handing over the keys for a tour that there were a few unique features.
"He told me he'd bought it directly from Fulgencio Batista's family," Enis says.
At first, the doctor had doubts about that claim. But then he learned the walls were solid concrete. And buried in the floor, just as the seller had warned, was a baffling complex of phone jacks. Then he stumbled across a safe he wasn't meant to find. The door was ajar, so Enis pulled it open. Inside, stacked haphazardly, was a pile of black-and-white photos. Each showed a corpse, executed with a bullet to the head. "I guess they were political enemies. I really didn't care to know. I slammed the thing shut and kept walking," he says.
The aftermath: Enis bought the house anyway and raised a family in Batista's old home. Now he rents it to another doctor's family. "Hell no, I never gave it one thought that this guy lived there," Enis says. "I knew the history of what he put people through, but that was the past, you know?"
As for Batista, he never made it back to his Spring Garden house after Fidel's revolution in 1959. He was denied asylum in the United States and wiled away his last years in Portugal before a heart attack cut him down in 1973.
Terrifying nickname: The Intelligent Prosper Avril (frighteningly bestowed by François "Papa Doc" Duvalier)
Iron-fisted infamy: Prosper Avril rose to power through Haiti's military after joining the presidential guard of murderous dictator François Duvalier in 1969. He served as a trusted adviser to both Papa Doc and his son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, before staging a coup d'état in September 1988 and installing himself as a Duvalier-styled dictator. He ruled with brutal force in Port-au-Prince for two years, throwing the opposition into jail and publicly beating and shaming them. Avril's thugs beat Evans Paul, the democratically elected mayor of Port-au-Prince, and then paraded the bleeding and bruised politician on national television. Amnesty International says Avril's brief presidency was "marred by gross human rights violations." He squirreled away hundreds of thousands of dollars embezzled from international aid and Haitian government coffers.
Finding him in South Florida: 6881 N. Saint Andrews Drive, Miami Lakes, most recently purchased for $360,000 in 1997. Question: You're a dictator, and as all well-schooled dictators must, you've ripped off your nation's budget worse than Bernie Madoff with a mutual fund. Where do you put all of those greenbacks? Answer: Real estate. Preferably palm-tree-shaded South Florida real estate, where you can spend your remaining days of freedom drinking mojitos under the watchful eye of your AK-47-strapped bodyguards. In October 1988, "the Intelligent Prosper Avril" sank $200,000 into a handsome tan ranch home with a red-tiled roof on North Saint Andrews Drive, a winding suburban Miami Lakes road that rings a neatly trimmed golf course.