Mike Marcus

 

Senator Kerry wrote recently, "The corruption that has dragged down Haiti for decades must be swept away with the rubble of demolished structures."

Without a long-term, head-on attack on corruption, all the goodwill and dollars being sent now is ultimately a band-aid on a hemorrhaging patient.

A possible solution is an entity, perhaps non-profit, focused solely on curbing corruption in Haiti.

Sample action steps could be to identify, quantify, and categorize the most corrupt groups of individuals ideal for targeting with a dual-pronged approach; strong penalties with teeth coupled with doubling or tripling of salaries, thus taking away a major incentive for bribery in the first place.

Regardless of the steps, the core idea is an entity that focuses solely on this problem via an astute, systematic approach. I believe most of the people of Haiti would support this effort enthusiastically, since they are among the victims of this phenomenon.

Though perhaps I missed it, I have not yet seen an article in the Herald on Haiti devoted exclusively to corruption.

Could be in depth and perhaps a stepping stone to the idea I have put forth.

Clearly corruption was a huge problem in Nicaragua as you reported, and a U.S. Senator the other day referenced the fact that medical supplies at the airport in Haiti were held up by customs officials looking for bribes. Much material here for a good, and I believe necessary, feature story.

Read more Haiti - Your Thoughts stories from the Miami Herald

  • Michael Benge

    In his report, Andres Oppenheimer advocates that “Haiti needs a version of the Marshall Plan -- now” (02.05.10). As part of that plan, US leaders should take a lesson from our history during the 1930’s depression when President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and apply it to the reconstruction of Haiti.

  • Ed Brophy

    Fishers of men? Don't be turned off by some of these worldly charity organizations—flush with cash—who would seem to rather have you believe Haiti is not in desperate need of volunteers—even if your best skill is none other than to serve the poor.

  • Cynthia Hansen

    The grass roots groups are doing more to help than big NPOS.

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