Best of the Week


Strong reporting on alleged torture, ‘Fat Leonard’ case in Venezuela

A protester holds a sign that says in Spanish "No more torture" during a protest against political prisoners outside the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), known as the Helicoide, in Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 3, 2021. (AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos)


Regina Garcia Cano,Jamey Keaten,Juan Arraez and Julie Watson delivered smart stories about Venezuela, including an interview with the leader of independent experts working with the United Nations’ top human rights body that gave insight into cases of torture allegedly ordered by President Nicolas Maduro of government opponents and critics.

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Venezuela’s National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) headquarters, known as El Helicoide, in Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 12, 2022. – AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos

Another story ran down details of the arrest of a fugitive Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated one of the U.S. Navy’s largest bribery scandals.

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A wanted poster provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Leonard Francis, known as “Fat Leonard,” a Malaysian defense contractor who orchestrated one of the U.S. Navy’s largest bribery scandals. Francis escaped house arrest in San Diego on Sept. 4 and traveled to Mexico and Cuba before being arrested in Venezuela. – U.S. Marshals Service via AP

Andes correspondent Regina Garcia Cano was able to find out that Leonard Francis was arrested at the international airport that serves Caracas before he boarded a plane to the Island of Margarita, a Venezuelan Caribbean Island that the government is trying to turn into a hotspot for Russian tourists. A source told AP that Leonard’s intention was to flee to Russia.

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