We, at Armando.info, have managed to remain at the forefront of Venezuelan investigative journalism thanks to our editorial independence. Such freedom, together with a strategic coordination developed with journalists from all over the world, has resulted in meaningful collaborative work. The ever increasing support of our readers and community is still a decisive element in our growth.

Our investigations reveal names, processes, facts and strategies that pull back the curtain of official versions with hidden interests, incompatible with democracy. The decadence presented as an “achievement” through propaganda cannot hold back our meticulous work to verify data and the contrast of voices, documents and facts.

Despite the threats, harassment, censorship and discredit exercised through social media, mainly by individuals and entities connected with the Venezuelan government, in Armando.info we have remained faithful to our profile, free of ties, revealing what the power intends to continue hiding.

Impact Reports

De mercaderes a científicos: el verdadero
milagro del Carvativir

A falta de pruebas confiables que certifiquen su efectividad contra la Covid-19, las gotas presentadas por Nicolás Maduro como "milagrosas" y cuya distribución ya autorizó, convocan al escepticismo. El laboratorio que las produce, desconocido, tuvo antes la persona jurídica de un importador de repuestos para carros. Quienes se presentan como autores de los supuestos estudios clínicos que respaldan al medicamento son socios comerciales y operadores políticos del oficialismo: uno, que se proclama escritor de 'bestsellers' en Amazon, llegó a estar preso bajo acusaciones de presuntos ilícitos en una subsidiaria de Pdvsa; el otro, propietario de empresas que contrataron con el Estado, tuvo una discoteca en Margarita.


En Venezuela, Juan Valdez se llamaría Camilo Ibrahim

Pasaría por el barista de moda gracias al auge de su marca Café Páramo y cadena de tiendas gourmet. Pero es mucho más que eso. A la sombra de decenas de contratos con el Estado venezolano y divisas preferenciales, Camilo Ibrahim Issa ha expandido un emporio que nació con tiendas al detal y no deja de sumar toda clase de nuevos negocios: aerolíneas, empresas petroleras y prestadoras de servicios en el Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía, entre otros. Si bien cultiva el bajo perfil, el reciente escándalo de Plus Ultra en España lo puso bajo los focos. Todavía así, para reconocer su figura en medio de una enmarañada estructura corporativa hace falta seguirle la pista a un grupo de allegados y familiares.


Lo que Maradona se llevó de Venezuela 

A dos meses de la muerte del astro del fútbol empieza a correrse el velo en torno a la herencia que pudo dejar después de una vida de excesos multimillonarios. Según diversas versiones, buena parte del patrimonio que legó se compone de los ingresos que obtuvo de negocios con el chavismo. La militancia revolucionaria de Maradona tuvo una contrapartida en jugosas comisiones por contratos de importación de alimentos en favor de una compañía italiana, sobre todo entre 2015 y 2019, cuando el hambre se enseñoreaba en el país y el mítico 'Pelusa' cobró millones de dólares.


Cómo Alex Saab y sus otros yo venden el petróleo venezolano

Ni el cautiverio en Cabo Verde detuvo los negocios del 'trader' colombiano. Para asegurarse de que así fuera, tejió una red de compañías fantasmales en distintas partes del mundo que, como en un juego de seudónimos, parecían nombrar a distintas personalidades que al final eran la misma gente: el propio Saab y dos cómplices, el mexicano Joaquín Leal y el italiano Alessandro Bazzoni. El esquema les permitió seguir comerciando en todo el planeta con millones de barriles de crudo de Pdvsa frente a las narices del Departamento del Tesoro y sus sanciones. En México, por ejemplo, trataron de hacer negocios con la estatal Pemex, amparados tras empresas de maletín con nombres rimbombantes y cartas de recomendación forjadas. 



Collaborative Journalism

At Armando.info, we believe in collaborative journalism as an effective investigative strategy. Transnational and cross-border journalistic cooperation has been part of our formula for global coverage of human trafficking, corruption, money laundering, illegal transactions and capital movements that have affected the public treasury beyond the Venezuelan territory.

“El Joropo del Dragon” (Venezuela’s “dance” with China)

The China-Venezuela cooperation through the China-Venezuela Joint Fund resulted in millions of disappointments that we reveal in the series El joropo del dragón, developed together with the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and the ad hoc support of Diálogo Chino. 

In this case, we obtained and processed hundreds of documents on decision-making, budget allocation and, in general, the development of the Chine-Venezuela cooperation from 2007 to 2012. Despite being a binational scheme through which up to 50 billion dollars flowed, it was managed in a nontransparent manner, with virtually no oversight, and the projects effectively achieved were significantly below expectations. 

The findings of the operation of the China-Venezuela Joint Fund, through which the alliance promoted by the then Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, and the Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, was materialized, produced revealing information of an enthusiastic yet inefficient and confused administration, which the media involved published in six simultaneous issues.

Webinar

The effects and behind the scenes of the revelations of “El joropo del dragon” were addressed in the webinar entitled “Corriendo la cortina de las relaciones China – Venezuela” (Pulling back the curtain of China-Venezuela relations). Robert Soutar @DialogoChinoES, Rigoberto Carvajal @CLIP_AmericaLat, Rebecca Ray @BU_Tweets, and Valentina Lares from Armando.info participated in the virtual meeting⸺ a sample of the collaborative effort that cleared doubts of a large part of the projects represented in the China-Venezuela alliance in the Chávez-Zemin era.

How Alex Saab and his Other Selves Sell Venezuelan Oil

The investigation on how Alex Saab, the alleged front man of Nicolás Maduro, used companies in Mexico, Russia or the United Arab Emirates to distribute Venezuelan crude oil and evade US sanctions was addressed by Armando.info and EL PAÍS in another exercise of collaborative journalism. These works showed the scope of the business scheme that the Venezuelan regime has developed outside Venezuelan laws to evade the sanctions imposed by the United States.

Venezuelan Sex Slaves ― a Booming Industry in Trinidad 

We conducted together with CONNECTAS organization, a non-profit journalistic initiative that promotes the production, exchange, training and dissemination
of information on key matters for the development of the Americas, an investigation into the crime of trafficking and sexual slavery of Venezuelan women in Trinidad and Tobago⸺ a crime boosted by the economic crisis in recent years, encouraged by impunity and the complicity of criminals and authorities of the island and Venezuela.

Alliance with El Ampli

Our investigation entitled Una casta empresarial hizo cumbre en el hotel Humboldt (A business breed held a summit at Hotel Humboldt), published in April, featured an animated video produced by El Ampli: La Monarquía del Ávila (The Monarchy of El Avila mountain). This is the latest issue of the alliance between Armando.info and the team of elampli.com, specialized in narrating the journalistic investigations of Latin American media with creativity and humor. Thus, we expand the coverage and understanding of our investigative stories.

Storytelling on Armando.info 

The stories published on Armando.info have a decisive reach. This is confirmed by the interest of national and foreign media in requesting data and disclosures from our team of journalists.

https://youtu.be/wI1OoKR1rjc
https://youtu.be/ViGma2Qc_Gc

Special Publications

Ewald Scharfenberg, co-editor of Armando.info, presented to the Committee to Protect Journalists serious concerns regarding the impact that the eventual approval of the International Cooperation Bill would have on the financing of independent media, like Armando.info.

As a guest columnist for Los Daniels - an independent Colombian web portal - Scharfenberg, the co-editor of Armando.info, also discussed the complex political scenarios in Colombia and Venezuela, characterized by the migration and exile of Venezuelans in the neighboring country.

Reference of Armando.info’s work in the 2020 Report of the OAS IACHR, Chapter IV on Venezuela

Corruption and Human Rights are two fundamental focal points in the work we have been doing at Armando.info since it was founded. Our investigations have been a reference for the analysis of international organizations on the Venezuelan case; for example, the quotes included in the 2020 report of the OAS IACHR. 

Reviews of Our Stories 

The impact of the work done in Armando.info has been reflected in different media, which recognizes the credibility and accuracy of our investigations.

Visits to Armando.Info

Social Media

Armando Community

https://twitter.com/DavidAragort/status/1376191193332219911?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1376191193332219911%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Farmando.info%2FCampaign%2FInformeCuatrimestral

Acknowledgements

Tom Renner Award

The investigative series on worldwide money laundering in banking, known as #FinCENFiles, published in 2020, received the Tom Renner Award for the coverage of organized crime.

The recognition awarded to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Buzz Feed News also goes to Armando.info as part of the over 100 partners of ICIJ.

The #FinCENFiles leak involved the work of more than 400 journalists from 88 countries and featured a local chapter published by Armando.info in twenty-three issues over four months.

Invitations and Events

Armando.info journalists Patricia Marcano and Roberto Deniz, together with Claudia Solera ―members of the Roche award winning team in the category of Digital Journalism in 2020―offered details about the series “La mala leche de los Clap” (Clap’s Bad Milk) in a talk promoted by Escuela Convoca of Peru, a space for data analysis, verification and new narratives based on practice and collaboration.

We continue being the target of those holding power, who see their hidden agendas compromised. The support of our community and contributors plays a key role in guaranteeing the continued existence of our investigative work. As an independent media, we preserve the integrity of a journalistic work exclusively committed to the facts.

Our contributors

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION

LUMINATE

ARNOLD VENTURES

FREE PRESS

INSTITUTE FOR WAR & PEACE REPORTING

RED DE CIUDADANOS

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY


At Armando.info, we zealously preserve our credibility. Therefore, we always back our work by verifying each and every piece of information we handle and publish. In the exercise of journalism, there are many distractions that can bias the contents presented to the public. Overcoming this reality is one our guiding goals and shields us from attacks aimed at protecting the power of just a few. The guarantee of the exercise of independent journalism inexorably depends on the support of our community of readers, and we continue working towards the growth thereof.

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