In the same boat

Latin America
by Johan Gonzalez

Being photojournalist in Venezuela is both a challenge and a huge responsibility for me, during the crisis and economic depression that is devouring the country. Today, Venezuela has fallen victim to corrupt politicians and a complacent opposition. Starting from today what I write will be dedicated to the most relevant themes centering corruption and human rights issues in Latino America. Moreover it will be an opportunity to analyze the different impact around bad political practice and thirst for power.

The political landscape of Latin America has excelled centered on the corruption scandal that has been released after the arrest of Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of construction Brazilian Odebrecht S. A in June 2015, who was accused of paying bribes in exchange for multimillion dollar contracts in different Latin American countries.

As a result of his arrest and senior executives Brazilians shone a light on corruption, revealing document called the “informer doomsday”, consisting of statements of 77 former executives of the company, which give testimony in the corruption case which was undertaken by Odebrecht. Such confessions have shaken hundreds of politicians from their slumber, from left and right of Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Argentina and El Salvador, for their respective implications.

In turn, research conducted by the United States Department of Justice, reveal payment of $788 million carried out in paid installments to senators, MPs and former ministers, such as Jorge Glas, former vice president of Ecuador who was sentenced to six years in prison. The same happened with the Poder Judicial Brazil and Peru who have been punished with jail Lula Da Silva and Ollanta Humala, while Alejandro Toledo has orders to US extradition to Peru since last year.

The scandal has overshadowed the controversial government of Venezuela who is accused of being the second country, -after Brazil, to receive more payments from the construction. For this reason, on April 17 of this year the National Assembly passed the impeachment of President Nicolas Maduro. The former prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, in exile, has requested with alleged evidence the arrest of the Venezuelan president (as has been supported by the international community), but the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) and the Attorney General of the Republic assigned by the National Constituent Assembly (AN) of Chavista trend has rejected the request of opposition Venezuelan parliament, after considering this institution illegitimate and contempful.

Those involved in the mega corruption plot are located on the political leanings of left and right, from different Latin American countries. A scenario where presidents, former presidents, deputies, governors and senators “differing ideological” background are paraded. But they all agree with their criminal acts. Even the Revolutionary armed forces of Colombia (FARC), is also designated to receive payments since 1990.

Politicians like Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez, Henrique Capriles (Venezuela) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Michel Temer, Dilma R . (Brazil), Ollanta Humala, Alan Garcia, Keiko Fujimori, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, (Peru), Enrique Peña Nieto, Felipe Calderon (Mexico), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Nestor Kirchner, Mauricio Macri (Argentina) and Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia) top the list (so far undisclosed in whole) of the main actors who plunder the continent.

People who hold political office with populist and “emancipatory” speeches, but eventually they turn away from the needs of their own countries. Those who use their policies influences for self enrichment, spoiling and affecting the tendering bid by awarding million dollar projects to the highest bidder.

In recent statements by Marcelo Odebrecht said “I have not corrupted anyone, these politicians were already criminals when I met them”

The dimension of robbery affecting these nations is absurd, but it will not fail to surprise us, because scandals such as this are the clearest example of the plague of corruption infesting Latin American politics.

Today many of these nations afflicts inequality and poverty, with figures increasing each year. Such as Venezuela where every day people die due to a lack of medicines, – to cite one of many problems in the region, but received 98 million dollars for the realization of important work, which have not yet been culminated.

Johan Gonzalez is a Venezuelan photojournalist, who works for print and digital media in Spain, USA, Canada, Colombia, Netherlands and now he is collaborating with CNY Latino as a columnist. You can see some of his work at or you can send him an email at or call him at +58 4260852518 for comments, ideas and opinion on his column.