This article argues that corruption in Haiti is an informal system that must be decoded in order to understand the micro-technology of business practices and the distribution of power in the military. It demonstrates that corruption is one bridge that links the national business community and the international business subsidiaries operating in Haiti to the military. It shows how reliance on the military is a necessary condition for the long-term survival and success of any major business venture because it provides protection against potential mobs and an edge against competitors. Finally, it shows how corruption has played a major role in undermining the authority of officers in positions of power, elevating the power of subaltern officers, decentering the effectiveness of the central authority, and repositioning individuals and cliques.
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