Message to INFODIO readers: investigative journalism, which is what this site does, takes lots of time. Visiting media looking for a quick run down on Venezuela's gargantuan corruption, have the decency to at least cite the source when plagiarising this site's content without attribution (exhibit Reuters here and here, exhibit Bloomberg here, exhibit OCCRP here). To all readers, do the right thing, the honest thing: support independent investigative journalism, help us expose rampant corruption. Note added 28/06/2021: impostors are using INFODIO's former editor's full name, and a fake email address (alek.boyd.arregui at to send copyright infringement claims / take down requests to web hosting companies (exhibit Hostgator). The attempt is yet another effort paid by corrupt thugs to erase information about their criminal activities. has no issues with other websites / journalists using / posting information published here, so long as the source is properly cited.

September 2013

Who is Luis Oberto?

Luis Oberto (aka Luis Alfonso Oberto Anselmi) one of the most discreet members of the Venezuelan Boliburgeoisie. A mention here, another there, it seems that Oberto has been able to fly under the radar for quite some time now, although INFODIO readers -an extraordinary source of information on all these white-collar thugs- have been sharing intel on Oberto and his operations. Please bear with me as this is about to get more complicated than a Venezuelan soap opera.

"Alek Boyd has AIDS"

I got up this morning to the news that "I've got AIDS." It wasn't my doctor who gave me the bad news, no. It was the Derwick boys (Francisco D'Agostino, Francisco Convit, Pedro Trebbau, and Alejandro Betancourt), who in their boundless wisdom, continue to position the only tactic they have at their disposal, money, in order to deploy the only strategy they know to use when bribery fails: intimidation.

The Social Policies of Hugo Chavez: a fraud that has to be denounced

The social programs of Hugo Chavez were based on direct transfers of cash and strong subsidies to the Venezuelan poor, in exchange for their political loyalty. As such they were exclusive and designed to obtain maximum political benefits. Poverty, however, is a structural condition that calls for structural solutions. Cash transfers and subsidies represent a fish a day, as compared to the need for empowering the poor to learn how to fish. When the transfers diminish or, even, disappear, the poor revert rapidly to their original condition, this time more despondent than ever.

How Rafael Ramirez bankrupted Petroleos de Venezuela

Rafael Ramirez is the Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Venezuela. For the past 11 years he has also been the President of the state-owned petroleum company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). I would like to describe in this article how he led the company into bankruptcy. In so doing he has also generated economic and social chaos in the country, since petroleum is the only source of foreign currency for our nation. It represents 96% of all Venezuelan exports.


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Enrique Pescarmona & IMPSA: kickbacks, corruption, legal threats... rinse and repeat

The correct thing to do, in relation to billions of dollars reportedly schemed by a number of companies contracted to solve the power crisis in Venezuela, is to allow them to have their say. As such, I sent a few communications yesterday to IMPSA, an Argentine conglomerate whose activities have been singled out by Venezuelan experts as exhibit A of enormous overbilling in the execution of public infrastructure works. Case in point Tocoma, fourth dam in a series in the lower Caroní river, being built by a consortium (Odebrecht, Impregilo & Vinccler​) and in which IMPSA was the chosen contractor to build and install 10 Kaplan turbines.

Expert: Derwick Associates overbilling estimated at $2.93 billion

Derwick Associates, the energy company involved in a mega corruption scandal, overcharged the Venezuelan State as much as $2.933 billion according to estimates from energy expert Jose Aguilar. In an interview with INFODIO, Aguilar argued that Derwick Associates is the "tip of the iceberg" in a considerably larger swindle that could have cost Venezuela in excess of $23 billion. Aguilar named names of international corporations taking part in the scheme: Argentina's IMPSA, Spain's IBERDROLA and Duro Felguera, France's Alstom, China's CMEC and Sinohydro, Germany's Ferroostaal, Thailand's TSK, as well as American Waller Marine.