Can Haitians tackle drugs and corruption?

Last week, Haitian president René Préval declared before the leaders of the fifteen member countries of CARICOM and President George Bush that fighting corruption and drugs were his government's top priorities.

“Those dealing drugs and contraband buy police, judges, and other government officials and there will be no stability if the problem of drugs is not sorted out in the right way. It's useless to talk about investment, progress, stability if the drug problem remains intact,” Preval told Le Nouvelliste (Fr).

Collectif-haiti-de-provence responds to Préval's statements, describing how deeply-entrenched corruption is in Haiti and doubting Préval's resolve to address it.

Beaucoup d’haïtiens et d’étrangers intéressés par la situation d’Haïti s’interrogent sur la mise en œuvre d’une politique visant effectivement a redressé le pays et l’acheminer vers des lendemains un peu plus cléments pour l’ensemble de la population. Le contenu du questionnement reste dans le classique : Quand ? Comment ? Et avec qui ?

Many Haitians and foreigners interested in the situation in Haiti ask themselves about putting in place an effective policy that can set the country right and put it on a path toward a better tomorrow for all the people. The content of the question remains the same: When? How? And with whom?

L’application d’une politique efficace suppose enterrer les vieux démons, contourner des obstacles monstres…

The application of an effective politics means burying the old demons, overcoming monstrous obstacles…

Parmi ces obstacles l’un des plus difficiles est sans doute combattre cette corruption incrustée dans les pores des administrants et administrés. Faire comprendre que la corruption est un crime contre l’état. Et ce message doit être adressé au petit détaillant qui occupe illégalement un coin du boulevard Jean Jacques Dessalines comme au ministre ou au directeur général qui détourne les fonds de l’état…

Among the obstacles one of the most difficult is without a doubt fighting against corruption which is encrusted in the pores of the governing and the governed. To make it understood that corruption is a crime against the state. And this message must be give to the petty trader who illegally occupies a corner of Jean Jacques Dessalines boulevard as well as the minister or the director general who embezzles government funds…

Collectif writes that even the infamous “SOCAGATE” banking scandal wasn't enough to inspire the government to act decisively to punish corruption.

…Après la fameuse SOCAGATE qui pour certain a éclaboussé notre parlement, – nous croyons que certains ont été littéralement emmerdés par cette histoire de pots de vin -, il y a eu la saisie des 420 kilos de cocaïne avec une forte suspicion de participation active de certains membres gradés de la Police Nationale. Ces deux évènements pouvant servir de preuves visibles de la corruption au sein des institutions, semblent se désintégrer sous le poids d’une indifférence complice arrangeante. La population ne veut sans doute pas dépenser de l’énergie dans la réclamation d’une justice qui ne viendra jamais.

…After the infamous SOCAGATE, that for certain stained our parliament, we thought that some would be literally screwed by this bribery scandal. There was the seizing of 420 kilos of cocaine along with a strong suspicion of the active involvement of some members of the National Police. These two incidents, serving as visible proof of corruption at the heart of these institutions, seemed to vanish under the weight of an accommodating, complicit indifference. Without a doubt the people don't want to spend energy on seeking justice that will never come…

Collectif comes to the rather depressing conclusion that Haitians have gotten too used to the status quo and are crippled by inertia:

Aujourd’hui, les problèmes qui croupissent Haïti et les haïtiens dans la misère crasseuse et puante ou ils pataugent sont si ancrés dans la conscience des citoyens qu’ils ne sont plus perçus comme tels.

Today, the problems that stagnate Haiti and Haitian, [keep them wading] in squalid and sickening misery are so ingrained in the minds of citizens that they no longer perceive them.

Le secours ne viendra sans nul doute de l’intérieur.

Without a doubt relief won't come from within.


  • […] Clark Link to Article george w bush Can Haitians tackle drugs and corruption? » Posted at Global […]

  • No doubt Preval and his government are far from perfect, but having been visiting Haiti since 1997 and reporting on it is since 2000, I have to say that the current Haitian administration and parliament seem relatively benign, progressive and constructive in comparison to some of the other governments I’ve seen there. I mean, hey, at least I’ve never heard of him ordering anyone’s murder, which puts him above many in the political game in Haiti. The fact that he has kept Mario Andresol, a man whose bravery has always impressed me, as head of the Police Nationale d’Haiti(PNH) I also think speaks well.

    Michael Deibert

  • Jean Rebecca

    Jennifer Brea, I just wanted to thank you for writing about the current and real issues that is going on in Haiti. Keep up the good work. Also, what do you believe Haitian here in the US can do to better the people and the country of Haiti.

  • Jean

    The people and the country of Haiti are filled with corruption and an on going list of problems that continue to hunt and cripple the country. Until the mind sent of the people changes, things will continue to be, ‘the same old same old.’ Redevelopment of Haiti is like paying off a dept, you make a list and begin to work it from less to great.

  • […] this means is that we’ve now got stories from Haiti which translate from French-language blogs, appearing in Japanese and Bangla. That’s a […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.