WASHINGTON, D.C. (defend.ht) – The 2011 Human Rights Report by the U.S. State Department found that even as the government changed from Preval to Martelly, corruption “remained widespread in all branches and at all levels of government” where “officials often engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.” According to the Chairman of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, the 2012 report looks to be even worse as it will take into account allegations by the Dominican Journalist Nuria Piera and events that have recently occurred in the Haitian Parliament, among others.
The U.S. State Department report took note of the involvement of the Ministry of the Interior in the previous election as it financed the campaigns of at least a dozen candidates and paid salaries to another 10 sitting members of parliament.
It was noted that the two government anticorruption bodies, the ULCC, Unit in the Fight Against Corruption and the UCREF, Central Unit of Financial Intelligence, have refused to pursue allegations of embezzlement and corruption.
The human rights report also took note that the former President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier who remains close to the Martelly administration was not charged after receiving “a substantial number of plaintiffs” who filed cases against him for corruption, torture and murder. It is the consensus that pressure from the Martelly administration would not allow Duvalier to be charged for high crimes.
The report also reads:
The vast majority of government officials, even by the end of 2011, had not declared their assets as required by law. Only the former President Rene Preval and Prime Minister, at the time, Garry Conille, had done so. The State Department report took note of this.
In regards to transparency, the report said there is no law requiring public access to government information.
Corruption has Worsened
An analysis of the report by the Chairman of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, Stanley Gaston, found that a 2012 analysis of corruption in Haiti would be even worse, taking into account recent events.
”For the year 2012, the report is going to be even more grave because if you look at all the scandals that we are faced with today.”
”If you look at the comportment of the parliamentarians. You get the impression that in the Haitian Parliament things are done by what you are offering. This means to say, in this country everything is money. There isn’t value in any other thing.”
”In the executive government there is the same perception, on the level of the judiciary it is the same perception, this makes more than 10 years that Haiti has been given the last place in the international reports.”
Chairman of the Bar Stanley Gaston