02/22/2010 1:53 PM
02/22/2010 1:55 PM
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.