Fighting Corruption is a Crusade that must involve all Haitians

Last week, I made a surprise visit to the offices of the ULCC (Unité de lutte contre la corruption), the unit responsible for fighting corruption in Haiti. I like to see what is going on right in the field, to observe concretely how things are progressing and how they are being executed. I greatly appreciate the work that the ULCC is conducting; they are producing great results. The reason for my visit was also to motivate the troops in their effort to bring more justice and transparency to Haiti.

I want to repeat time and again that the Martelly / Lamothe administration is determined to make the war against corruption in all its manifestations across the entire country its principal priority. The reasons are simple and can’t be emphasized enough: the money that corrupt individuals steal from the state is money stolen from the people of Haiti. It is money that can’t be used to develop social programs, to build roads and hospitals, to make the country a safer place and to help the less fortunate. Corruption is a crime that has deep social consequences. Our government is investing time and money to fight this plague because it is the source of many problems in the country.

I believe in this crusade and am devoting all of my energy into making sure it is successful. This crusade is for all of us, it is for the reconstruction and the future of Haiti.

I believe in this crusade to get Haiti out of extreme poverty.

I believe in this crusade for Haiti to regain its reputation, stained by corruption.

I believe in this crusade for the dignity of the people of Haiti, who have been fighting proudly for a dignified country since 1804.

I am fighting this crusade with the hope that all Haitians, here and all around the world, understand that the Martelly / Lamothe administration is sincerely trying to transform the country, to make the population believe in its democratic institutions again, so they know that the government is with them and working for them.

I know that the population follows us on this path.  They want to see us fight this battle.  And they want to see results.  Haitians know that it will be a long task, that corruption won’t disappear right away.

ULCC general manager Antoine Altouriste and his team are working diligently to obtain good results as I witnessed during my visit. As you know, they have already obtained clear results, especially in education programs where the unit uncovered one of the greatest scandals and where we have effectively punished those responsible. But I am not satisfied with these results alone. The goal is not to find just a few criminals to set an example.  Our anti corruption effort will last and will be  thorough and rigorous.  Our goal is to make Haiti known worldwide for its efforts to stem corruption. And, to insure that our efforts are evaluated independently, we will focus on improving our current ranking in Transparency International’s Annual Survey.

Additional efforts in the direction of improving transparency are underway in Haiti.  For example, the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and La Fondation Héritage pour Haïti (LFHH) have established an «Anti-corruption Hotline» to allow victims or witnesses of corrupt and fraudulent practices within USAID-funded programs and projects to report these practices.  A special toll-free number, *550, has been set up as well as an e-mail address, anticorruptionhotline@hushmail.com.

The determination of the Martelly / Lamothe administration is far from transient. It will last and the results will speak for themselves. I invite all Haitians to join me in this crucial effort for the country’s future!

I applaud the efforts of the ULCC. I am inspired by the resoluteness and dedication of its staff who are working diligently for the greater good of all Haitians. Their efforts and dedication will have l have meaning only if we all work toward the same goal!