The president of the Colombian Vortex Foundation, Eduardo Salcedo, lead a workshop for journalists at the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo about a tool he has developed in partnership with Humanitas360, the Map of Operation Car Wash Criminal Networks. The event, which took place on May 17th, aimed to share the tool with journalists so that they are able to conduct a whole range of new investigations connected to the Operation Car Wash. Journalists from the paper’s Power section and from the newly-created Folha Intelligence Core, were some of the attendees. By showing journalists how to navigate the tool, Mr. Salcedo expects that the software will potentialize their work, for it can reveal criminal connections through data visualization, which showcases records of lawsuits and testimonies given under the Operation Car Wash.
Salcedo told journalists that thanks to the Map, it is now possible to visualize details of a complex criminal network, which connects about one thousand people and organizations in 2,6 thousand interactions in various countries. He says that one of the key findings enabled by the software is that agents of organized crime do not always follow the “bad guy” stereotype. Rather, it allow us to categorize a vast range of politics, companies and individuals as “criminals”, that although are not majoritarily connected to criminal activities, are often connected to corruption networks, direct or indirectly. According to the researcher, these are the so-called “part-time criminals”: individuals and organizations that, although have no initial intent in breaking the law, end up doing so for being connected to a large scale network of corruption. “It will only be possible to target and end criminal doings once we understand the real proportion of criminal networks,” said Salcedo.