Global Witness, self styled protector of "human rights and the environment by fearlessly confronting corruption and challenging the systems that enable it", is silent on PDVSA. As in absolutely silent. A search for PDVSA in Global Witness site returns one (1) result. Since 1993, which is when Global Witness claims to have started, nothing has been done regarding PDVSA's corruption, one that can very easily engulf all other corruption campaigns Global Witness has ever done put together. Global Witness recently published a report based on Brazil's Lava Jato scandal. Better late than never, the report includes the following passing comment:
"Global Witness’s new findings will heighten concerns over corruption risks, at a time when the three top commodity traders are already under scrutiny. This March, a trust for Venezuela’s state oil company sued Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura and other companies for bribery and insider trading, claiming they cheated $5.2 billion from the company by corruptly rigging oil tenders. In July, Glencore’s share price tumbled 12% in a day, over news of a US investigation into alleged money-laundering and corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela. The commodity companies deny any wrongdoing."
The report is nothing new to those of us who have focused on corruption in Latin America. There aren't "new findings" in it. While stringing together the cast of characters may pass as some sort of breaking news, fact is activities of Marc Rich's understudies across the world (Trafigura, Glencore, Vitol, etc.) are well known and reported. What Global Witness is missing is the Chavista elephant in the room. Describing PDVSA US Litigation Trust as an entity with purportedly legitimate claims against Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura is, to put it mildly, ignorant in the extreme. That trust is a monumental scam. That Bloomberg would do so can be explained on the basis that its reporters need to produce copy on whatever newsy stuff out there. But Global Witness?
I noticed that Nick Donovan, as per Twitter bio "Campaign Director, anti corruption NGO", started following me. When I asked what was his interest in Venezuelan corruption, he said that Global Witness was researching "Glencore's activities in DRC", and that he had read an article posted on this site "speculating" who was behind PDVSA US Litigation Trust's formation (Wilmer Ruperti).
The problem with the Nick Donovans of this world is that if corroboration can't be found in traditional media, then it must be speculation. I find such behaviour beyond insulting. Racist in fact. If perceived culprits can't comment on the record, and there is no public paper trail / probe information available, then it never happened. Global Witness is, needless to say, completely ignorant on Venezuelan corruption, and it has a huge amount of catch up to do in that regard. Petrobras / Lava Jato is child's play next to PDVSA, and it can only be hoped that, in the pursuit of its stated mission, Global Witness will finally wake up to it, and do some proper digging / reporting / campaigning about it.
As a way of encouragement, Global Witness could perhaps start with this bit of "speculation": former PDVSA-staff, Sargeant-employee, Roberto Finocchi, who got charged for FCPA breaches (bribe payments to Candido Vaccarezza facilitated by Jorge Luz) related to Sargeant Marine's business with Petrobras.
Global Witness could follow up by seeking comment from Wilmer Ruperti, Vanessa Freedman, John Brennan, David Boies, Alex Pencu, Bill Duker, Gueric Canonica. Then from usual suspects / targets Glencore, Trafigura, Vitol, Lukoil, Helsinge, et al. Swiss prosecutor Johan Droz knows a thing or two. U.S. prosecutors could also comment on probe leads related to all parties involved with PDVSA's trust claim. As argued earlier, there isn't a single honest broker involved in formation, setting of the trust, and its subsequent legal actions in Switzerland and Florida.
It's about time Global Witness started focusing on the world's largest oil corruption scandal. It isn't in DRC, Nigeria or Brazil. That much they should know by now. That Glencore, Trafigura, Vitol et al are completely corrupting, and corrupted enterprises, isn't news either, quite the contrary: it is their business model, everywhere they operate.