HAITIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND PRIVATE COMPANIES WHO ALLEGEDLY STOLE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM PETROCARIBE FUND – PART 2

 

 

 

HAITIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND PRIVATE COMPANIES WHO ALLEGEDLY STOLE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM PETROCARIBE FUND – PART 2

 

CITE SOLEIL, HAITI – Inside this dilapidated city near the ocean, hundreds of Haitians, including children living in makeshift tents, squalid germ-infested tenements where diseases proliferate with assured health complications. In this area of Haiti as in many others, a simple case of diarrhea can quickly end up in death – and of course, here people who are susceptible would often say “se diab ki manje pitit madam nan” meaning “the devil killed the lady’s child.”  This city is a stark reminder of the poverty and misery that regular Haitians face daily.  The situation is not only inhumane but almost surreal that people can live in such conditions – a meager existence between misery and death mired in a constant effort to survive. But it does not have to be this way. The situation is partly the result of corruption, ineptitude, misplaced priorities, weak government and elected officials who couldn’t give two hoots about the people they are supposed to represent.

 

 

Since 2012, thousands of Haitians have died of dehydration caused by the Cholera Epidemic courtesy of the United Nations. Every day many Haitian children do not reach their fifth birthday – they die of malnutrition caused by lack of food. Around the country, from Port-Au-Prince to Jean Rabel, to Jeremie, hospitals lay bare without necessary medical equipment and even small things as simple as a Band-Aid is very rare. Potable drinking water is a luxury that very few Haitians can afford. A bottle of water cost nearly an American dollar and most people in Haiti do not earn that much a day.  Those who are lucky enough to have a semblance of employment with the government either as teachers and police officers have gone months without a paycheck.  The Haitian government claims that it lacks the financial resources to meet its obligations. While the fat cats get their paychecks in addition to what they steal, the rank and file are barely getting by.

 

Foreign donors subsidize nearly 30% of the Haitian government’s budget. Government revenues from agencies like the Haitian Customs, Contribution (a tax agency) usually operate at a near deficit because of rampant corruption. This means that the little money collected can hardly service their debt load. The Electricite D’etat Haiti (EDH), a government agency which manages the production and distribution of electricity in Haiti – another luxury for those who can afford it – has been operating at an eternal deficit for the last ten years, and has been subsidized by millions from Petrocaribe fund, another racket for self-serving bureaucrats.  Most Haitian businesses do not pay taxes, and their rationale is rather simple — if government officials are hell bent on stealing the money, they might as well keep it themselves. Who can argue with that?

 

Since the fall of the Duvaliers in 1986, no politician of considerable distinction or eminence had emerged with the goal of turning Haiti into a functioning democracy. From President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Rene Preval, to Michel Martelly to Jovenel Moise, Haitian heads of state had been very timid and unwilling to address the elephant in the room – CORRUPTION. It is not that Haiti is just a poor country, it is that corruption has kept Haiti that way, affecting everything from law enforcement law enforcement to foreign investment.  The Petrocaribe corruption is an example of why Haiti is where it is now, and why the country will not make significant progress unless corruption is addressed, and those who are engaged in it are called to account for their criminal actions.

 

From 2006 to 2016,  billions of dollars of the Petrocaribe funds which could have been used for a myriad of things to make life a little bit better for everyday Haitians ended up in the pockets of fat cats – businessmen and Haitian bureaucrats. From the Preval/ Bellerive administration to Martelly, government officials continued to issue payments to companies who received no-bid/no performance contracts for work that the companies would not perform and never intended to perform in the first place.  This reminds us of a quote from the famous Haitian raconteur, Maurice Sixto, who said during one of his many interesting stories: “Moune yo di bonjou yo pran lajan epi yal fer route yo” which loosely translates to : ” The people say good morning, take the money and continue on their way.”

 

Omegaworldnews is running a two-part series on companies who participated in the Petrocaribe theft. In the first part last week, we published the names and the amount of money, in the millions, that former Prime Minister Bellerive and the Director of the PetroCaribe fund Michael Lecorps paid to many companies. (See article Part 1- nearby).  In this article, we publish the names of the businesses and the amount of money they received under the Martelly administration. Many of these contracts were issued before Martelly came to power, but the Martelly administration ratified them and continued making payments like nobody s business. The corruption and waste have a direct impact on the people of Haiti, and those who currently live in the US under TPS who could be sent back to Haiti in a matter of a few months.

 

From July 18, 2012, to September 10, 2014, the Martelly administration spent 878 million dollars from the PetroCaribe fund, paying companies that did not have to perform any work for the money. Below are the names of the companies, the date they received the payment, the bureaucrats who approved the payment, the country where the company is registered, and the status of the contracted work.

COMPANY CONTRACT AMOUNT DATE INC. IN Haitian Official STATUS
GTC ROAD CONSTRUCTION 22 MILLION Aug-11 HAITI Josefa Gautier 8 klilometers built
GTC Construction Lycee Alexandre Petion 6 Million Nov-12 HAITI Josefa Gautier No Revocation
GTC Construction of  San Fil Hospital 8 Million Dec-12 HAITI Josefa Gautier No Construction
HADOM  Construction of Minister of Foreign                    Affairs 10 Million Jul-11 DR Josefa Gautier Not Done
HADOM Construction of the House of Parliament !0 Million Aug-11 DR Wilson Laleau Not Done
HADOM Construction of the Minister of Interior 10 Million Aug-11 DR Wilson Laleau Never Built
HADOM Construction of  Minister of Commerce 10 Million Sep-11 DR Wilson Laleau Never Built

 

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* HADOM is a Dominican Company owned by Dominican Senator Felix Bautista. The company received nearly half a billion dollars for construction work of most of the Haitian Ministers buildings including the House of Parliament. To this day, the work has not commenced, and the money had not been returned to the Haitian Government. The present Government is making no effort to recoup the money from HADOM.

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COMPANY CONTRACT AMOUNT DATE INC. IN Haitian Official STATUS
Consortium Tropic Build Worldwode Holding LLC Construction of Housing for Earthquake victims 3 million Jul-11 USA No Home Built
IBT Road Construction Route Neuf 6.9 Million Oct-11 USA No Work Preformed
IBT Construction of Hospital 8 Million Nov-12 USA No Work Preformed
IBT Construction of Fontamara Public Market 15 Milllion Nov-13 USA Marie Carmel Jean Marie No Preformance

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*  The Firm IBT, LLC, is an American company incorporated in the State of Florida. The firm was represented in Haiti by Mr. Kiko St. Remy, the brother in law of President Michel Martelly. IBT. LLC received nearly 35 million dollars for several construction contracts, and the firm performed on none of the contracts. An American company allegedly engaged in corruption in Haiti is a flagrant Violation of the Foreign Anti-Corruption Act.

Omega Staff Writers

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