• 06-08-2017 |

    PATRICIA MARCANO

    José Gregorio Vicari Méndez, an assimilated physician of the Bolivarian Army, was the successful owner of Proveeduría Médica VDS, a medical supplies company that signed hundreds of contracts with the health office during the oil boom. This finding is part of a database developed by Armando.info with the public information contained in the National Register of Contractors. Although the Organic Law of the Office of the Comptroller states that an active official could have administrative responsibility if entering into contracts with the State, Vicari Méndez, who is no longer a member of the company, presents an argument in his defend that goes beyond the tragedy of Venezuela's shortages. "If I have a patient with a requirement, if there is no material, but I know where there is, I look for it. What should I do? Should I not operate?

  • 03-08-2017 |

    MARIO MUÑOZ DE LOZA

    Since his first escape from a maximum security prison in 2001, to this date, the authorities have barely seized three jewels, two vehicles, one house, eight ammunition clips, one grenade, 171 munitions and four items, among other goods of lesser value from the mythical chief of the Sinaloa Cartel. After his extradition, the United States is now going after his fortune. But it is not the only case that needs to be amended. Nearly 200 requests for information to the Mexican State reveal that, even if the criminal organizations get beheaded in the War against Drugs, their wealth and financial structures remain almost intact, little of it is confiscated, but even less thereof is publicly known.

  • 01-08-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The accomplished election of the National Constituent Assembly has flourishing businesses between Mexico and Venezuela in suspense. The country of North America has considered adhering to the trade sanctions announced by Washington, now that the chavista regime will cease the Parliament elected in 2015 and will initiate a raid against the political opposition. If the decision materializes, it will be a blow to the flourishing trade exchange between the two countries, which has allowed stocking the Local Supply and Production Committees, President Nicolás Maduro’s emergency plan to face shortages and the discontent of the population with Mexican supplies. It is a silent business, marked by opacity, from which entrepreneurs linked to the Venezuelan regime, as Samark López and Alex Saab, have benefited.

  • 31-07-2017 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    A dozen Venezuelan politicians appear among the beneficiaries of the Brazilian contractor and the names of Elías Jaua, a deputy, and Francisco Rangel Gómez, governor of Bolívar state in Venezuela, stand out. Odebrecht’s representative in Venezuela, Euzenando Azevedo, confessed to everything in Brazil and his testimony -leaked in this article- remarks that the list includes prominent individuals from Venezuela’s government but also leaders of the opposition such as Manuel Rosales, Carlos Ocariz and Antonio Ledezma.

  • 30-07-2017 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    New leaks of the "award-winning delation" that the construction company's proconsul in Caracas, Euzenando Azevedo, made to Brazilian justice last December reveal that in the elections to choose the successor to the late commander Hugo Chávez, Odebrecht made a Solomonic decision: to reach an understanding with the candidates of the Government and the Opposition and make contributions to the campaigns of both. It would not be on an equal footing: one was given $35 million, the other $15 million. But with the same consideration for both: that the public works contracts in charge of the multinational engineering company had to be respected.

  • 25-07-2017 |

    MATÍAS LONGONI

    In order to control the new four-legged threat, even hunting parties in helicopter have had to be organized. But these dog packs, which have already made the countryside their territory, now besiege the southernmost urban centers of Argentina, from where they initially escaped in most cases. While there are already reports of attacks against people in the city of Ushuaia, several ideas to face the problem have been proposed.

  • 20-07-2017 |

    MATÍAS LONGONI

    These far ends of glaciers and fjords, that once enchanted Darwin and Chatwin, Theroux and Hudson, have become the setting for postapocalyptic sceneries in which packs of feral dogs not only prey the local fauna and the cattle but also attack people. These dogs’ fangs have contributed, as much as the crisis, to decimate the traditional sheep cattle sector both sides of the international border between Argentina and Chile across Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost land ever colonized by man.

  • 16-07-2017 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    Those in Venezuela are jurists that have revolving doors. Sooner or later they have been deputies, ministers or representatives of Bolivarian associations. This report presents the conclusions of a work of data journalism that crosses the names of all the country's criminal judges with the lists of the government party, and therefore indicates that 40% of them are of chavista militancy. Among the most prominent in this case are acolytes who condemned political prisoners like Araminta González and even the first lady’s son, Walter Gavidia Flores, who was in charge of a court until 2014.

  • 09-07-2017 |

    KATHERINE PENNACCHIO

    In the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, which has a strong military component, military officers can act, simultaneously or progressively, even in contravention of the law, as troops leaders, government executives and even state contractors. One in three of the 785 military officers active in their time who, as private, contracted with the public administration during the last ten years, did it from companies that have the social purpose of construction. One case stands out: Major General Frank Herbert Lynch Dávila. The family company of which he is part has received contracts for construction works for years while the officer escalated positions until being in charge of the cement supply throughout the country.

  • The country with the largest oil reserve in the hemisphere neglects its people with HIV-positive and lets them die. Since 2012, medicines are scarce and the pandemic is spreading unabated in Venezuela. That is why dozens of patients have embarked on a 4,000-kilometer epic journey in order to save their lives and reach for the promised land where they will find both employment and health.

  • 01-07-2017 |

    RONNA RÍSQUEZ

    The murder of two young entrepreneurs committed in Caracas last May transcended the police report sections and gained an international echo inasmuch as one of the victims was related to a 'celebrity' in the fashion industry, Carolina Herrera, the Venezuelan designer with the most global recognition. But the plot, also international, ended up highlighting the violent interlacings of the dispute over the control of the furtive foreign exchange business that operates between Florida and Venezuela

  • 25-06-2017 |

    PATRICIA MARCANO

    From being recognized in Margarita Island as the heir of the picturesque “Ranchos de Chana” (Chana’s slums) he has come to raise a different reputation outside Venezuela. In Miami, Florida, land of the Cuban exile and more recently of the Venezuelan exile, Pedro José Castillo Uzcátegui presents himself as a visionary business man, although in practice he has become a professional scammer.

  • 21-06-2017 |

    ANGÉLICA LUGO

    They cover their faces with masks or t-shirts. They improvise shields for self protection. They prepare and throw homemade bombs. They build barricades with whatever they get, and when they go to the marches, they are seen at the head of the protesters confronting the State security forces. Although not all the people who identify with the resistance know each other or act in the same way in the conflict zones located in the metropolitan area of Caracas, these are the main elements that distinguish the members of these groups, which are mostly from popular sectors and that, despite not ideologically connecting with the government of Nicolás Maduro, do not always follow the agenda of the Venezuelan opposition.

  • 18-06-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    The 'eternal commander' of the Bolivarian Revolution wanted to have his chain of socialist supermarkets and to that end he ordered the expropriation of the Éxito Stores in 2010, which he believed to be Colombian. By the time he found out that they belonged to the French Casino Group, it was too late: the Paris government had intervened and obtained not only a hefty payment for the business, but also helped retain a French participation in what became Abastos Bicentenario. Seven years later, when the supply chain languishes, the French continue to sell up to 3,000 tons a year of non-food products through a company in Panama. 

  • 11-06-2017 |

    FABIOLA ZERPA

    A solitary block of concrete, barely protected from flood by sump pumps, lies in the waters of the lower Caroní River. This is the case of the planned Manuel Piar hydroelectric plant in Tocoma, southern Venezuela, after paying US$ 10 billion —three times the budget and partly with funds from multilateral agencies— to several contractors, including the controversial Brazilian construction company. Of that amount, at least US$ 1 billion corresponded to irregularly paid foreign currencies through an administrative scheme (80-20, they called it) that an internal audit found, which was used to finance commissions to project management.

  • 06-06-2017 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    Delations of the 'Lava Jato' case in Brazil have produced an outpouring of testimonies about irregular payments that flood and splash power circles in Venezuela. But not everything happens between hierarchs of politics. The contractors, with Odebrecht at the head, distributed where they thought was necessary and in the right magnitudes. While papers of the Brazilian prosecutor's office continue filtering, the talk of the files mentions a wide range of personalities that includes from businessman Gustavo Cisneros to a member of the opposition.

  • 18-05-2017 |

    ALFREDO MEZA

    Ángel Vivas Perdomo lived besieged in his house just over three years. He gained enormous fame because he resisted armed an arrest warrant issued by President Nicolás Maduro in February 2014. Over the months, his case was buried by the avalanche of news generated in Venezuela. Hurt, he wrote a diatribe against everyone before being captured by the state security forces on April 7. This is the story of a man who feels misunderstood.

  • Overbilling, up to three times the original value, in merchandise, freight and insurance; incomplete exports; disproportionate down payments; companies created ad hoc days before being awarded contracts; diversion of funds to accounts of tax havens. There is everything in the menu of tricks used by entrepreneur Juan José Levy to keep the lion's share in the contracts he signed to supply TV antennas, hygiene products and medicines from Argentina to Venezuelan. A look at the Argentine judicial investigation report reveals such a diversity of irregularities that it is difficult to understand why official companies Suvinca or Cantv chose him as a supplier, or maybe not.

  • 12-05-2017 |

    JOSEPH POLISZUK

    As if it were a novel series, the biggest corruption plot from Brazil involves a senior Venezuelan official, nothing less than the national head of state. But the Prosecutor's Office is silent. Although distanced from the government, Luisa Ortega Díaz ignored the issue, despite the fact that her counterparts had already notified her about the case.

  • 23-04-2017 |

    ROBERTO DENIZ

    Alex Saab's name reappears. The Colombian entrepreneur, linked to the contractor Global Construction Fund, seems to reinvent himself. Thanks to a company registered in Hong Kong, he has managed to sell food to Venezuela for over 200 million dollars in a negotiation approved with Nicolás Maduro’s signature and the intermediation of the State Government of Táchira, led by José Gregorio Vielma Mora. The products, paid with preferential dollars but billed with a surcharge, have been directed to the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP), the flagship program whereby the Venezuelan authorities intend to mitigate hunger.

  • 19-03-2017 |

    ALFREDO MEZA

    Wilmer José Brizuela became the epitome of 'pran' or leader of the Venezuelan prisons. He imposed its law over the state laws in a prison in the south of the country, in the midst of fierce fighting between clans and a badly perpetrated vengeance, episodes of a medieval saga. His legend, already known in the confines of the penitentiary system, has just gained national effect when a shooting on the island of Margarita showed that he was released with official permission, despite serving a sentence for complicity in a murder. He still has power. The following text is an abbreviated version of a profile originally prepared by the author for the anthology 'Los Malos' (The Bad Ones), published in 2015 by Universidad Diego Portales of Chile, under the editing of Argentinean chronicler Leila Guerriero.