About Us

ARMANDOINFO is a community of journalists born in Venezuela in the heat of crisis and censorship of its media. Its aim is to provide an independent platform that supports and accompanies Venezuelan and Latin American journalists in reporting well-narrated and detailed transnational stories that have no place elsewhere.

The platform is a reference in journalistic investigations in Venezuela on money laundering, human rights, and environmental issues, through well-told stories that have the support and mentoring of professionals and global journalist networks. Panama Papers and Wikileaks are some examples of international collaborations.

ARMANDOINFO appears for the first time in 2010, as an incipient research journalism project. However, it was formally launched on Sunday, July 20, 2014. From then on, it publishes investigative stories with accurate, well-documented and well-written information week after week. To date (August 2017), over three hundred (300) reports have been produced and spread by the ARMANDOINFO community.

Although it is an emerging medium, ARMANDOINFO has counted on the best investigative journalists in Venezuela. Likewise, it has developed and published journalistic pieces in alliance with consolidated media, such as El Universo from Ecuador, El Nuevo Herald from Miami, Clarín from Argentina, La Nación from Costa Rica, Semana from Colombia, and Confidencial from Nicaragua. Among these and other reports, some outstanding high- impact investigations are "Propietarios de la censura" (Owners of Censorship), conducted for a year with the Press and Society Institute and Poderopedia, and stood out among the three most innovative works nominated in the 2015 edition of the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism award. A similar case is the HSBC scandal, a work coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based in Washington, for a network of 66 media in which ARMANDOINFO participated as the Venezuelan correspondent.

In the dawn of daily events, we develop our own vision... If you read ARMANDOINFO, you can understand what happens in Venezuela behind the scenes.

ARMANDOINFO was selected by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to coordinate the investigations by a team of 11 journalists, representing 4 national media in Venezuela, on irregular financial practices of Venezuelan officials. The investigation was based on documents leaked from the Mossack Fonseca firm, better known as the Panama Papers, the global research of which involved a network of over 370 journalists from 109 media in 76 nations, and in 2017 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Since 2015, ARMANDOINFO is a member of the renowned Global Investigative Journalism Network.

Our community of allied journalists, media and organizations includes:



International

Our Work

Venezuela's few independent media have been forged on the Web. No wonder El País from Spain referred to "La Primavera de los medios digitales en Venezuela" (The Spring of Digital Media in Venezuela) a couple of years ago, and ARMANDOINFO stood out among them, as the only one engaged in investigative journalism. The objective is not only to circumvent the media siege, but to produce journalistic stories that escape sensationalism and speculation generated by the dynamics and urgency of journalism to investigate the occult, the trends, the last phenomena, the underlying forces and powers.

ARMANDOINFO has specialized in investigating issues of corruption and money laundering, which have generated international public debate, as the case of the multiple bribes to officials from at least 12 countries by the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht. An investigation of the portal motivated the departure of the Treasurer of Venezuela, Carlos Erik Malpica Flores, whose face and irregularities while in his position were made public for the first time after the publication of the report. Both Odebrecht’s case and Flores Malpica’s case were jointly investigated with local journalists and local and Latin American media collaborators.

"In ARMANDOINFO we merge our two most important strengths: research and well-told stories".

In addition to money laundering and corruption, ARMANDOINFO's agenda includes human rights cases, such as the series of stories that revealed an AIDS epidemic in the indigenous communities of the Orinoco Delta, which had wide repercussions and international follow-up, in addition to a mention in the National Award for Investigative Journalism of IPYS Venezuela. There is also the case of a report on the illegal sale of cancer treatment drugs in Venezuela, an investigation of the so-called indigenous self-defense groups, which is rising in southern Venezuela, and a work by a team of Cuban journalists with the portal editors’ mentorship, on the eternal return of garbage in Havana.

ARMANDOINFO is also interested in the environmental impact of mining and deforestation practices, such as the disproportionate cutting of Sierra de Perija. Irregularities in the health system and medical care are thoroughly examined in cases like the spread of diphtheria and malaria in the country.

Our Method

ARMANDOINFO promotes and defends the values of independence, balance, transparency and narrative in the practice and development of local and international investigative journalism among the new generations of journalists. It offers fully documented, well-narrated and well-edited journalistic findings.

Scope

Based on the study conducted by the University of Texas (October 2016):
  • 91.7% of readers consider that ARMANDOINFO is different from traditional media.
  • E48.67% of readers consider that ARMANDOINFO provides useful information for their lives.
  • The reader of ARMANDOINFO values its investigative proposal, its independence and credibility, its transnational connection and its revealing reports, which do not appear in other media.

2017
  • In 2017, ARMANDOINFO implemented the subscription platform in both bolivars and US dollars, as part of the strategy to guarantee the sustainability and independence of the medium.
  • It has also published a series of selected reports from Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia by journalists who won a scholarship to do special research that had no place or resources in other media in the region.
  • Winners of the first place, IPYS Venezuela Awards 2018 (Shared with Runrunes)
  • After three years (Aug 2014 – Aug 2017), ARMANDOINFO has been consolidating the traffic both in its social media and in the portal, obtaining the following indicators:
  • Sip Award for Journalistic Excellence 2017- 2nd place Depth Journalism Category: "The Last Nazi Prisoners in Latin America" (joint work with Connectas)

2018
  • IPYS Venezuela National Investigative Journalism Competition. First Place for the Serie “Behind the CLAP”
  • Our Co-Editor Joseph Poliszuk received the Knight International Journalism Award 2018
  • Special mention in the category World Reporters, of the XVII edition of the EL MUNDO International Journalism Awards, to the reporters and editors Alfredo Meza, Ewald Scharfenberg, Joseph Poliszuk and Roberto Deniz of ARMANDOINFO.

2019
  • Special Citation of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for the extraordinary impact on the region.
  • Our Co-Editor Joseph Poliszuk won the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.
  • 2nd Place in the IX IPYS Venezuela National Investigative Journalism Contest for "Behind the CLAP: business expansion".
  • “Voces de América Latina" Award for the report “Three Mexican companies profit from selling groceries to Venezuela” (part of the series Behind the CLAP).
Traffic
88.000
FOLLOWERS
14.000
FOLLOWERS
7.300
FOLLOWERS
16.692
USERS/MONTH
43.585
PAGES/MONTH
23.252
SESSIONS/MONTH

ARMANDOINFO Team in Venezuela

1 General Manager
1 Fund raising relations manager
1 Administrator
1 Administrative assistant
1 Publisher
6 Journalists
1 Design and Loyalty Manager
2 Digital Designers
1 Digital Marketing Coordinator
1 Community Manager
1 Technology and development manager
1 Junior developer

Directors – Founding Partners

Ewald Scharfenberg
(Caracas, 1961) DIRECTOR | EDITOR

He is the current chief correspondent for the newspaper “El País” from Spain in Venezuela. Until 2012, he was the CEO of the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), an institution that he projected as an organization that promoted best practices in journalism. In 2007, he was awarded the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). He graduated in 1984 as a social communicator from Universidad Central de Venezuela. Since then, he was the director of Exceso, Producto y Letra G (of the extinct El Globo newspaper) magazines. He was vice president of the Publicidad Cosar advertising agency, and most recently, he was a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). He is currently an outstanding jury of the Latin American Investigative Journalism Award, awarded by the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) and Transparency International. He has been a jury of national and international awards, including the prestigious award granted by Transparency International.

Alfredo Meza
(Ciudad Bolívar, 1971) DIRECTOR

Is the author of books like “El acertijo de abril” (April’s Riddle) (2003, reissued in 2012) and “Así Mataron a Danilo Anderson” (The Killing of Danilo Anderson) (2011), for which he obtained the Banco de Venezuela-Random House Mondadori award to journalism. In 2007, he hosted the Sunday edition of “Aló, Ciudadano” (Hello, Citizen), the most prestigious reporting program on the Venezuelan television for a decade (2002-2013). He run the “Poder” magazine, and has published articles in Venezuelan newspapers such as El Nacional, El Universal and Últimas Noticias. He has been a collaborator in La Tercera from Chile, El Colombiano from Colombia, La Nación from Argentina and La República from Italia, among others. He is a social communicator graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in 1995 and has a graduate degree in Latin American Literature from Universidad Simón Bolívar. In 2013, he was honored by IESA as the best student of Advanced Management Program.

Joseph Poliszuk
(Maracaibo, 1981) DIRECTOR | EDITOR

He won the first National Investigative Report Competition and has been a three-time finalist for the Latin American Award for best investigation on a case of corruption, awarded by Transparency International. He is a social communicator with graduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma and Tecnológico de Monterrey. For 10 years he worked in the editorial offices of the Venezuelan newspapers El Nacional and El Universal. He has collaborated with Semana magazine from Colombia, El Nuevo Herald from Miami and El País from Spain, where he was an intern in 2007. He is part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based in Washington, from where he has published investigations on corruption, mineral trafficking and anti-personnel mines in Venezuelan territory, as well as from other platforms, which earned him the recognition from Amnesty International "for his key contribution to human rights." He has been a special correspondent for natural disasters in Haiti and special events in Brazil, Colombia and USA.