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MOROCCO: HOW STATE CORRUPTION WORKS

issandr el amrani 
There is an excellent, multifaceted investigation of corruption involving licenses attributed by the state for the use of quarries in state lands that has recently been published in Lakome, the independent Moroccan news site. As editor Aboubakr Jamai explains in a  companion editorial piece, the investigations details how members of the royal cabinet, 

their relatives, and other well-connected people have had privileged access to sand and other quarries, often through companies that barely have a legal existence, pay no taxes, and operate in very shadowy circumstances.
 
The corruption surrounding access to quarries has long been a commonly known fact about Morocco, a country with a long coastline and where sand quarrying in particular often takes place in an often unregulated away — something environmentalists have long complained about, since the quarrying takes place at times in what should be protected areas (the beautiful Atlantic beaches near Tangier and Asilah in the north are a case in point). But Lakome's investigation takes one rather banal type of corruption and paints a picture of such "state capture" takes place. You can probably imagine the same things happen for, say, touya wood felling in the Middle Atlas or fishing licenses that often go to senior army officers. 
 
This is precisely the type of in-depth investigative journalism that is so rare in the Arab world — using even inadequate public data to understand how one particular type of corruption works, which can tell you a lot not only about where money flows (and doesn't flow — the municipalities where these quarries are losing out on revenue that could go to facilities for locals) but also about how power flows. And it's not a pretty picture for a monarchy that boasts of being headed by a "king of the poor." 
 
Article Previously Published by The arabist

Comments (2)  

 
Sam Harris
+1 #1 MoroccanSam Harris 2013-02-06 17:02
Your artical shed the light and guide us to where good structured work has been done by fellow Moroccans.
Your article shows how in general the independent security / political circles work without affecting each other by design. and each zone has it own principles, thresholds and requirements, therefore the government security zone's design is different from the regional or the palace zones and circles.
These folks are essential for the self preservation of that specific security zone, this has been the case since 1961.
it is a great article because it shows also how the elected government institutions are helpless when it cannot affect the other adjacent security zones
It is a great article because it shows how the self preservation works in the political institutions in Africa
Until political institutions are built based on the average citizen well being.
OR I could have just said thank you.
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Haqq
+2 #2 We need more...Haqq 2013-02-06 17:50
We need more journalists and academics who will expose these cheats to the world. This is why it is a funny joke for Moroccans to talk about how wonderful the direction is going; it is obvious that its all crap just a different toilet.
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