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24821: lyall (reply) re: - Bribes, etc.
J.David Lyall <email@example.com>
Ah. Bamwen. Right. Gimme.
The people who intercept you at the door and sometimes prevent you
from seeing an actual government employee are universally known as
'racketeers'. My understanding is that these positions of
'racketeers' were somehow appointed by the political party in power.
It's a job. You get part of the take. Normal mafia stuff.
Two and a half years ago I went to try to get an official birth
certificate at the tribunal of Petion-Ville and the reception room
had two guys in suits sitting on benches who asked what we wanted. No
receptionist at all, just racketeers. They wanted 100 dola ht, double
the normal racketeer price apparently. Prix blan.
I was kind of dumbfounded but madam said just pay it. They wrote down
the info that we wanted put on an official government birth
certificate; wait, they wrote it down on scratch paper and said come
back tomorrow. Huh? Well, I did.
As we were walking away a police guy who lived at the hotel we were
living at came out and called us over, telling us to come back in. He
gave us back the money and brought us in to see actual government
employees. The woman did the form in 15 minutes at the legal price,
50 gourdes, altho the form said it was 4 gourdes.
Because of a neighbor who worked as a body guard for some fat cat
with a new government Nissan Patrol we got the proper price. Normal
people could not expect to ever get the proper price.
This current gov said that it was kicking the racketeers out of
bureaus. I don't know if that is true, haven't dared to try any
official business in a while.
When standing in line to get truck plates, ins. etc. and you pay to
get business done quickly, are these considered bribes or just
normal business in Haiti?
Maybe now you know why I am called John Ba Mwe
J. David Lyall