The world’s greatest forum for civil society, goverments and the private sector working together to fight corruption.
A preview of the agenda is found below. Please note that this is a draft agenda and subject to change.
The great robbery
Adelita Coriat, La Estrella de Panamá, Panama
Business at a gold mine run by the President.
A worthy business
Juan Carlos Sallaberry, Qué Pasa magazine, Chile
The business benefits of the daughter of President Michelle Bachelett's daughter.
The federales did it
Laura Castellanos, Proceso y Aristegui Noticias, Mexico
The investigation that debunked the official version of the Apatzingán killings.
The convent tortures
Daniel Enz, Revista Análisis, Argentina
After two years of investigation, abuse and medieval practices at the Carmelitas Descalzas convent are revealed.Moderator: Alejandro Salas, Transparency International
The Open Government Partnership set out an ambitious agenda in its initial Open Government Declaration that included countries adopting “robust anti-corruption policies, mechanisms and practices”. Anti-corruption within OGP commitments, largely tagged as public integrity measures, were not only meant to support transparency and participation in government, but also to help translate them into improving people’s lives.
Anti-corruption has been a key issue in the mandate of the Open Government Partnership. With 70 countries and a growing community of civil society organizations now part of the Partnership, OGP is positioned to be a critical action-forcing platform in the global anti-corruption movement. It is widely seen as an implementation and accountability platform for commitments made by countries at fora such as the London Anti-Corruption Summit, and a catalyst for innovative initiatives by government and civil society.This session will reflect on how OGP has served as a space for anti-corruption efforts in its first five years. In addition, it will discuss how the Anti-corruption Working Group can advance anti-corruption within the OGP mechanism. Finally, attending participants will be invited to share their own experiences of engaging in OGP processes in their own countries and how this could inform others to begin using the OGP platform to further their anti-corruption campaign goals.
The secret business of the FMLN
Efrén Lemus, El Faro, El Salvador
Leftist government officials transfer 290.6 million dollars from Alba Oilto Panama offshore companies to avoid paying taxes.
The Albanisa case
Ivan Olivares, Confidencial, Nicaragua
Discretionary management and expenditure of funds by the conglomerate of companies created by Venezuela and Nicaragua during the oil boom
Here is the oil money
Fernando Villavicencio, Focusecuador, Ecuador
Explosive reports on corruption and business deals in the energy sector from the editor who is being persecuted by the Ecuadorian governmentModerator: Giannina Segnini, Columbia University, USA
The Proxy Challenge Competition was launched in 2013 to help aid-donors better assess the results of their support to anti-corruption reforms. Unless we can find reasonably reliable ways to measure reform effects on corruption, it will be increasingly difficult to motivate continued support to anti-corruption reforms. The demands for donor effectiveness and value for money keep the pressure high on improving the measurement of anti-corruption reform effects.
In 2014, the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre ran the first edition of the challenge, and brought together a body of promising, bespoke proxy indicators. In this second round, we still aim to find the best proxy indicators that can track progress of anti-corruption reform initiatives. We need reliable, intuitive, accessible, and cost-effective assessment methods that are useful across country-contexts.
The Proxy Challenge Review Panel of experienced anti-corruption practitioners and academics have evaluated all the submitted proposals and identified the two contributions that best meet the submission requirements. In this session moderated by U4, Matthew Stephenson (Professor of Law at Harvard Law School) will give an overview over the status in measuring progress in anti-corruption reforms before the authors of the two best submissions present their respective proposals. Elizabeth Hart (International Development Researcher, Trainer & Consultant, independent) and Caryn Peiffer (Research Fellow at International Development Department, University of Birmingham) will announce the Review Panel assessment for the respective proposals before a winner is announced. The session closes with an appeal by Paul Heywood for innovation with a view to Proxy Challenge III.
The two best contributions are:
The percentage of traffic court cases resolved within expected time standards as an indicator of anti-corruption reform results in the justice sector, co-authored by Violaine Autheman, John Cipperly and Ehrik Aldana. The submission will be presented by John Cipperly and Ehrik Aldana.
Measuring Corrupt Rent Extraction by Tracking the Misuse of Corporate Vehicles, written by Mihály Fazekas and Bence Tóth, who both will be presenting their contribution.
Speakers (review panel)
Elizabeth Hart is an international development researcher, policy analyst, and practitioner with more than 20 years experience in the field of anti-corruption, good governance and democratic development. She is currently an independent consultant and researcher based in Seattle. Until January 2013, she was Director of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre in Bergen, Norway. Previously, Dr. Hart had a 14-year career with the US Agency for International Development, working on good governance, anti-corruption, civil society, and democratic development. She served for four years as USAID's democracy and governance advisor in Nigeria immediately after the transition to democratic rule in 1999, and for six years as USAID's lead anti-corruption advisor in Washington. She has worked and traveled extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Dr. Hart holds a Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Caryn Peiffer is a Research Fellow for the Developmental Leadership Program in the International Development Department. A political scientist by training, her main research interests lie in the causes, consequences and measurements of corruption and anticorruption reforms, developmental state business relations, and political accountability. Most recently, she co-authored (with Richard Rose) Paying Bribes for Public Services: A Global Guide to Grass-Roots Corruption. She has published other works on vulnerability to bribery, wiliness to report corruption, the theoretical foundations of effective anticorruption reforms, democratic accountability in Africa, the relationship between identity and attitudes towards aid, and the determinants of foreign aid flows. She has also carried out research for Transparency International, DFID, AFD, and SIDA, worked in India, Zambia and Botswana, and has advised the Commonwealth Secretariat and Cabinet Office on corruption research.
Matthew Stephenson is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches administrative law, legislation and regulation, anti-corruption law, and political economy of public law. His research focuses on the application of positive political theory to public law, particularly in the areas of administrative procedure, anti-corruption, judicial institutions, and separation of powers. Prior to joining the Harvard Law School faculty, Professor Stephenson clerked for Senior Judge Stephen Williams on the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. (political science) from Harvard in 2003, and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1997.
Professor Paul M Heywood holds the Sir Francis Hill Chair of European Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research focuses on political corruption, institutional design and state capacity, and he is author, co-author or editor of eighteen books and more than eighty journal articles and book chapters. Recent funded research includes an ESRC/Hong Kong RGC project on Integrity Management in the UK, HK and China; an EU FP7 project, ANTICORRP, on anti-corruption policies; and TACOD, an EU project on tackling corruption through open data. Heywood is currently leader of a £3.6m British Academy/DFID Anti-Corruption Evidence programme (2015-18), designed to identify new initiatives that can help developing countries tackle the scourge of corruption and the negative impact it has on millions of people's lives. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Trustee of Transparency International UK.
Speakers (the contenders)
Ehrik Aldana is a Political Science Research Assistant with the National Center for State Courts, where he researches anticorruption measurement and reform, as well as domestic language access services in the courts. His research interests include access to justice, inequality, and the intersection between law, technology, and public policy. Previously, he worked as an intern at the Public Defender’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana. He currently studies Political Science at Yale University.
John Cipperly is a Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Program Manager with the National Center for State Courts. He has more than a decade of experience working to promote transparent and accountable governance and effective justice systems. He has designed and managed justice sector reform programs in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe. With a focus on citizen engagement in justice sector reform, he has developed and produced print and televised media, web platforms, social media campaigns, and primary and secondary civic education curriculum, including graphic novels and coloring books to promote civic engagement and legal literacy. His research interests include the measurement of judicial transparency, public trust and confidence in the justice system, and procedural fairness. He holds an M.A. in Sociology of Law from the International Institute for Sociology of Law, a B.A. in Linguistics and Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Mihály Fazekas is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. He has been pioneering the use of ‘Big Data’ for social sciences research, especially for measuring and analysing corruption and administrative quality across Europe. He uses mixed research methods while working in interdisciplinary teams of IT specialists, practitioners, and social scientists in order to collect, structure, and clean large administrative datasets generated by governments. One of his primary areas of work is public procurement and high-level corruption. Together with István János Tóth, Fazekas won the first Proxy Challenge in 2014 and published the U4 Breif entitled New ways to measure institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement.
Bence Tóth is a research assistant in “The Digital Whistleblower. Fiscal Transparency, Risk Assessment and Impact of Good Governance Policies Assessed” (DIGIWHIST) research project. He assists in a large-scale data collection exercise focusing on public procurement. Furthermore, he is also involved in different public procurement related research projects, e.g. empirical analysis of the connection between transparency and efficiency or corruption and collusion detection in PP markets.
The 1MDB scandal
Clare Rewcastle Brown, Sarawak Report, Britain
Millionaire diversion of funds involving Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The fortune of Cristobal Lopez
Hugo Alconada, Argentina
The entrepreneur who built an empire with the taxes he did not pay
The Figueredo case
Juan Pablo Alfano, Sudestada, Uruguay
FIFA corruption involving the former president of the national soccer federation.Moderator: Augusto Alvarez Rodrich, IPYS, Peru
The theft of the reserved copper fund
Mauricio Weibel, The Clinic, Chile
Millions diverted under the cover of legislation reserved to finance the defense sector.
The ghost ship
Emilia Delfino-Nicolás Gandini, Diario Perfil, Argentina
Fraud through a hired vessel that never arrived
The looting of social security funds by the private sector
Octavio Henríquez, La Prensa, Nicaragua
Over US$ 1.8 million leaves the INSS to finance luxury condominiums in ManaguaAndres D'Alessandro, FOPEA, Argentina
Asset recovery has emerged as a major global concern. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) emphasizes asset recovery as one of its primary principles, which all member states should strive to support. Repatriation of stolen assets can also have a significant development impact. It is also included in the main target of the SDGs' Goal 16, which attempts to significantly reduce illicit financial flows and strengthen the recovery of stolen assets by 2030.
However, asset recovery is a difficult process even under ideal circumstances, and is routinely complicated by specific conditions in each countries. Moreover, the existence of an international treaty is surely not enough to ensure the effective enforcement of a law, especially for asset recovery that has a cross-border nature. Besides the difference of jurisdictional system among states, there are many challenges encountered in the context of each country's legal practice; such as transforming global commitment into domestic law, inter-agency coordination at the domestic level, differences in legal systems, and also the interest of the country where the asset is located.
Experience has also shown that asset recovery is complex; you need evidence to identify and pursue claims to stolen assets. Evidence can be compromised because of a lack of technical expertise in the investigation, compounded by a politically biased or inexperienced judiciary in asset recovery, or can be affected by issues of state sovereignty. This presents a real logistical challenge when it comes to prosecuting and recovery stolen assets. It requires international, state and civil society support.
Political institutions such as the Parliament has a strong role in providing measures to translate the international agreed asset recovery frameworks into national legislations, helping international process on asset recovery and developing the transparency and accountability of the returned assets utilizations.
It also requires those who are working in generating political support to bring the issue at the forefront of public discussion such as Parliamentarians and civil society activists.
This session will discuss the options available at international, bilateral, national and civic levels that can advance the recovery of stolen assets.
As GOPAC advocates for international prosecution of grand corruption cases, the international prosecution of corruption will also be explored, and ways to redress the development loss caused by the corrupt.
1. To further understand the basic principles of asset recovery and its international legal frameworks as well as the possibility of actions to face the impunity of the corrupt.
2. To elaborate more on the role of political institution such as Parliament in ensuring that effective legislative frameworks are in place to bring asset recovery measures in power.
3. To consider emerging trends on the link between the return of stolen assets and human rights and the enforcement of state obligations
4. Understanding who might have standing to bring claims, in civil actions undertaken both by the state where there is political will and on behalf of the victims where there is no political will.
The incredible world of television stations in the Amazon
Elvira Lobato, Agencia Publica, Brazil.
1737 network affiliates sieged by politicians: a reality that authorities, experts and journalists are unaware of.
The Phantom’s spectrum
Juan Carlos Calderon, Plan V, Ecuador
Angel Gonzalez purchases El Comercio and launches Televicentro, deceiving the law in the process.
Is it possible to investigate in Cuba?
Carlos Lauría, Committee to Protect Journalists, USA
Launch of the Conectar con Cuba report on new trends in the Cuban pressModerator: Enrique Flor, El Nuevo Herald, USA
The crew that eliminated criminals
Carlos Castro, America TV, Peru
Criminals set up by infiltrators who incited them to commit burglaries. Then, policemen were decorated for participating in their arrests.
The murder of the antidrug czar
Alberto Arce, The New York Times in Spanish, Honduras
Two generals organize, carry through and cover up the murder of Julian Aristides Gonzalez on behalf of the Atlantic Cartel.
396 deaths by theSao Paulo Police Department
Ciro Barros, Agencia Pública, Brazil
An official data survey built a profile of lethal occurrences of the city’s military police.
Massacre at the San Blas Ranch
Roberto Valencia, El Faro, El Salvador
Journalistic reconstruction reveals signs of summary executions and cover ups in the scene of eight homicides.Moderator: María Elena Barrios, TVN, Forum of Journalists, Panama
Infrastructure changes lives. Reliable and safe infrastructure in the form of roads, schools and hospitals is vital to not only prosperity but basic survival. From the G20 to the SDGs, the global community is focusing on increasing investment in infrastructure.
The value of global construction output is expected to increase by $8 trillion to reach $17.5 trillion per annum by 2030. However, international institutions estimate that 10% to 30% of investment in infrastructure is lost through corruption. As the leading international infrastructure transparency initiative, our experience at CoST suggests that a similar amount could also be wasted through mismanagement and inefficiency. We therefore do not just need investment in infrastructure, we need better value from infrastructure investment and CoST can help!
CoST is a game-changer in the sector; a practical tools-based solution delivering cross border collective action against corruption in infrastructure. With a panel of expert representatives drawn from government, industry and civil society, we will work together to explore innovative approaches to tackling corruption in infrastructure and share positive experiences on how CoST is changing lives in Latin America.
The session will also officially congratulate and welcome Panama as the most recent country to become a member of CoST and discuss how they can take action on the ground to change the rules of the game in infrastructure. For a taster of our work in the region, check out this short video highlighting how CoST Guatemala saved US$5 million on an infrastructure project! For updates and live Tweeting from the session, make sure to follow @CoSTransparency!
The continuous worldwide increase in cross-border illicit financial flows (IFFs) is extremely alarming. The urgency to take action has been re-emphasised by the revelations of the Panama Papers as well as the Bahama leaks. The movement of IFFs, whether related to corruption, tax evasion, terrorism or organized crime, concerns – and harms – both, developing and developed countries alike. However, the effects of IFFs are especially devastating for the developing world. International NGOs estimate that 1 trillion US$ illegally flows out of developing and emerging economies per year. The most immediate impact of IFFs is a reduction in domestically available expenditure and investment, resulting in nothing less but fewer hospitals, schools, and roads. The unhindered movement of illicit financial flows is a driver of crime, corruption and tax evasion. It aggravates injustice and impunity and leads to instability and poverty.
Corruption and illicit financial flows are related to each other in several ways. On the one hand, corruption is an immanent source of illicit financial flows. Fighting illicit financial flows also means fighting possibilities to hide the proceeds of corruption. On the other hand, corruption can also enable the generation, movement and laundering of IFFs by corrupting authorities or institutions responsible for law enforcement or tax administration. The publication of the Panama Papers has shown how the elites, the rich and the powerful worldwide hide their wealth from taxation, as well as from criminal investigation in case of embezzlement, corruption or other criminal activities.This workshop aims at presenting and discussing measures and solutions to stop IFFs. It will take into account the national, regional and international perspective as well as possibilities for development cooperation. Representatives from Germany, developing countries, regional and/or international organizations and NGOs will discuss opportunities and challenges regarding beneficial ownership transparency, financial investigations, anti-money laundering, international cooperation in criminal matters and recovery of stolen assets.
Gerardo Reyes, Univision, USA
The business world behind the expulsion of people from the United States.
Roberto Cabrini, SBT, Brazil
A report that uncovers corruption in public contracts that offer food for poor children in a region of Brazil.
Juan Guillermo Mercado, Caracol TV, Colombia
An ambulance picks up injured people avoiding the nearest hospital and takes them to a distant “buy victim” clinic. On the way, the injured dies.Moderator: Vladimir Netto, Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism.
This session will present the process, research and findings of the Committee charged with studying the regulations that oversee the financial service platform of the Republic of Panama as well as the international standards and recommendations from multilateral organizations, public institutions that regulate the services sector, the private sector that participates in it and multilateral organizations.
The panel will present a comparative analysis among different jurisdictions and by presenting the vision of the government in moving forward towards achieving greater financial transparency it aims to invite the audience to participate on the road ahead.
CoST, the infrastructure transparency initiative, is delighted to invite you to raise a glass to its newest member – Panama!
Strengthening transparency and accountability in public infrastructure investments, CoST Panama will deliver life-changing services from schools to hospitals and roads for Panamanian citizens. Join us for a cocktail networking event to find out how CoST is changing the rules of the game in infrastructure and celebrate our new member CoST Panama.
Christiaan Poortman, Chairperson of the CoST International Board, will officially welcome CoST Panama, represented on the night by Angelica Maytín, Director of the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (ANTAI). For a taster of our work in the region, check out this short video highlighting how CoST Guatemala saved US$5 million on the Belize Bridge infrastructure project!
To learn more about CoST, don’t miss our panel discussion at 16.30 on Friday 2 December in Las Cestas Room, Atlapa Convention Center: “Infrastructure Transparency: Combating corruption and changing lives in Latin America”
The dark business of soccer
Matías Jara, Pedro Ramírez, CIPER, Chile
18 reportson the mechanisms of corruption in the National Soccer Association.
Lisseth Boon, Runrun.es, Venezuela
A family of contractors is benefited with millionaire social security contracts to import medical supplies with preferential dollars.
The guardian of Roxana Baldetti’s fortune
Asier Andrés, Guatemala
A story of money laundering and the bank operator of the former vicepresident.Moderator: Carlos Eduardo Huertas, Connectas, Latin America.
In much of the world, corruption can't be described just as a collection of bad practices perpetrated by individuals. Rather it is the operating principle of sophisticated and successful networks that weave together key government structures, businesses and criminal organizations, whose tentacles reach far beyond national borders. Join Sarah Chayes to map out the structure of such networks, in light of the election of one of their members as president of the United States.
The inside process
Vladimir Netto, Globo TV, Brazil
The author of the Lava Jato book explains the inner mechanisms that explain the success of a mega investigation.
Rubens Valente, Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Benefits of an unprecedented decisionto disclose judicial acts to the public during the judicial process.
Ricardo Brandt, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
The latest incidents of the Lava Jato process and their perspectivesModerator: Laura Puertas, MEDCOM, Forum oj Journalists, Panama
Leonencio Nossa, O Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Corruption network in the judicial power and the Public Ministry allied with rural businessmen to plunder the forest.
Italian Mafia in South America
Juan Carlos Lezcano, ABC Color, Paraguay
Catch Me If You Can. The story of the most important cocaine trafficker of 'Ndrangheta'.
Drug traffickers in the presidential campaign
Raul Olmos, Aristegui Noticias, Mexico
The investigation that revealed the involvement of a drug cartel financing the candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.Moderator: Luis Botello, International Center for Journalists, USA
DIRECTOR: NANFU WANG
LENGTH: 84 min.
LANGUAGE: English, Mandarin
SPEAKERS: Barbara Trionfi, International Press Institute, Executive Director
The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China, to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media.
Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.
Hooligan Sparrow is Nanfu Wang’s feature debut. It’s executive produced by Andy Cohen, Executive Producer for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Special Jury Prize, Sundance 2012) and Alison Klayman, Director/Producer of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; co-written by Mark Monroe, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and six time Sundance veteran: The Cove (Winner, Best Documentary 2010 Academy Awards & Best Documentary Script, W.G.A. 2010); with original score by Nathan Halpern, Rich Hill (Grand Jury Prize, 2015), and graphics by Garry Waller, Watchers of the Sky (Special Jury Prize, Sundance 2014).
Maria Jimena Duzan, Director, Semana en Vivo, Colombia
Fernando Ramirez, Director, La Patria, Colombia
Daniel Coronell, Director, Univision, USAModerator: Maria Teresa Ronderos, Open Society Foundations
Current trends in investigative journalism.A conversation between Gerardo Reyes (Univision, USA), David Kaplan (Global Investigative Journalism Network) and Ricardo Uceda (IPYS).
The objectives of the session are:
Daniel Ortega’s sexual abuse case.
Judith Flores, Diario de las Americas, USA
New accusations, new sources and documentation.
Matheus Leitao, BRIO, Brazil
After searching for 15 years a journalist finds the one responsible for the torture of his parents. He interviews him… does he forgive him?
The Deputy Secretary General of the UN and his past
Sebastian Escalon, Plaza Pública, Guatemala
The incredible story of Edmond Mulet and the children he exportedModerator: Eduardo Lim Yueng, TVN, Forum of Journalists, Panamá.
The murdering mothers
Angelica Lugo, Runrun.es, Venezuela
The organized mafia that controls the sex industry in the main prostitution square of Caracas.
The Miskitos Hell
Wilfredo Miranda, Confidencial, Nicaragua
Trafficking of indigenous lands involving government officials and the Attorney General.
Talita Bedinelli, El País, Brazil
Infant deaths in 34 special districts of the Amazon.Moderator: Lina Vega, Forum of Journalists, Panama
The impossible man
Mauri Konig, Gazeta do Povo, Brazil
He escaped a fire when he was a baby, was tortured when young, survived two poisonings and a shot to the head, butthere is more…
Elba Esther’s plane
Mario Gutiérrez, Nexos, Mexico
Reconstructing the life of a union boss from inside a private plane.
The Manubens Calvet in heritance
Sergio Carreras, La Voz del Interior, Argentina
The deadly fight between the real and the alleged beneficiaries of the country’s largest and more scandalous inheritance.Moderator: Christopher Acosta, IPYS, Peru