The document below is a prelude to the sort of deals that the Venezuelan State, through its utterly corrupt officials (like BARIVEN's President Guillermo Arellano) made with the bolichicos of Derwick Associates: Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, Francisco Convit Guruceaga, Francisco D'Agostino, and Pedro Trebbau Lopez.
The question in the title may sound overly dramatic, but I don't think it is. This website has exposed a number of Venezuelan crooks, otherwise known as Boligarchs. We are an equal opportunity exposer, in the sense that with the very limited resources at our disposal we strive to shed sunlight on criminal / illegal activities of all Venezuelan thugs, whether in relation to power plants, banking, oil, foodstuff, telecoms, media, politics, military, etc.
It doesn't look pretty for Derwick Associates. Not pretty at all. Readers may recall that former U.S. President's Special Envoy for the Western Hemisphere, Otto Reich, filed a RICO lawsuit against Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, Pedro Trebbau Lopez and Francisco D'Agostino (of Derwick Associates's fame) in New York in July last year. When reading the claim the first time I thought "this is a looong shot..."
2013 has been a good year. INFODIO was launched at the end of July, and has managed to get 779,426 page views thus far, positioning itself as the prime source in exposing corruption in Venezuela. While it would be foolish to claim that the site covers it all, it is not a stretch saying that it has contributed significantly to shed light on some issues that would have gone unnoticed otherwise.
[UPDATE 30.12.2013 and 03.01.2014] RaFa the hacker is getting creative again. He is using Crowdflower to scrub the reputation of Venezuelan criminals (birds of a feather...). Let me explain how this works.
In another hilarious chapter in the Derwick Associates saga (a company of twenty-somethings with no experience in the energy sector that received 12 power plant contracts for billions of dollars thanks to one of their school chums, who just-so-happens to be the son of the government minister assigning the contracts), the holding company they have in Spain has just changed its name. Now, the "powerful" American-sounding company that bought a €22.7 million hunting estate in Toledo and luxury apartments in Madrid, is to be called COMPAÑIA DE INVERSIONES AGRICOLAS TRIESTE SL.
An extraordinary editorial by The Times, difficult to put it more clearly.
[DO READ THIS UPDATE] I was meant to have a meeting with Alex Saab on Monday, 25th November. Expectedly, he didn't show up, sending instead a Venezuelan lawyer called Amir Nassar. Nassar came to London to "open a communication channel" with me. He wanted to meet face to face and "get the conversation" going.
I am not an economist, I do not claim to be one, nor do I claim empirical expertise on the topic. I would like to draw INFODIO's readers attention to the following claim in Mark Weisbrot's latest propaganda piece at The Guardian's Comment is Free.
Dear Derwick bolichicos, I know you must be desperately wanting to see the end of this Annus Horribilis. Mind you, in 2013 you have gone from cocky proxies of Hugo Chavez, persecuting and prosecuting his opponents, to pariahs. In the space of less than a year, you went from believing that you would get millions and destroy the reputation of widely respected Venezuelan businessmen, who made their names, wealth and businesses through actual work, to become perhaps the only billionaires in town worthy of near absolute contempt.