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Corruption in Venezuela: The Coming Reckoning

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

June 26, 2019



Systemic corruption under the chavista regime is like Pandora’s box: once it’s fully opened, it will reverberate for years to come. The consequences will be felt in Venezuela’s economy and politics, as well as beyond its borders, from Petrocaribe countries to U.S. courts.

What do we know about “grand corruption” in Venezuela, at state oil company PDVSA, and elsewhere? How is Juan Guaidó’s interim administration preparing to deal with the challenge? How should businesses look at corruption risk in Venezuela? What are the consequences for bondholders? To address these questions and more, we will convene a unique panel of experts from government, civil society, and the private sector.

Also, we will grant our inaugural Anti-Corruption Leadership Award and present the results of the first annual Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, a regional index co-developed by AS/COA and Control Risks.

This event is part of AS/COA’s Anti-Corruption Working Group.

Registration: This event is complimentary for all registrants.
Prior registration is required.


  • Mercedes de Freitas, Executive Director, Transparencia Venezuela @soymerchy
  • José Ignacio Hernández, Special Prosecutor, Interim Government of Venezuela @ignandez
  • Geert Aalbers, Senior Partner, Control Risks
  • Roberto Simon, Senior Director for Policy and Head of the Anti-Corruption Working Group, AS/COA (moderator) @robertosimon

Event Information: Fernanda Uriegas | | 1-212-277-8377
Cancellation: Please contact Juan Serrano-Badrena at before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25.

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Geert Aalbers

Partner, Control Risks

Geert Aalbers is a partner at Control Risks, where he heads its Brazil and Southern Cone business and manages complex investigations into fraud, corruption, and other ethics breaches. Aalbers is also a lecturer in compliance and risk management at Insper business school in São Paulo. He is a certified compliance and ethics professional (SCCE), a member of the International Bar Association, and has served as an expert on panels advising the OECD, World Bank, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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Mercedes de Freitas

Executive Director, Transparencia Venezuela

Mercedes de Freitas is the executive director of Transparencia Venezuela. De Freitas has worked with several Venezuelan NGOs and has been active on issues concerning access to information, budget transparency and legislative processes. She is a frequent speaker at the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of American States, where she has articulated the link between corruption and human rights abuses in Venezuela. An Ashoka Fellow since 2000, De Freitas also served on the board of Transparency International from 2015 to 2017.

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José Ignacio Hernández

Special Prosecutor of the Interim Government of Venezuela

José Ignacio Hernández is the Special Prosecutor of the Interim Government of Venezuela. Hernández is also a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Development. He was a professor of administrative law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, as well as the director of the Center for Public Law Studies at the Universidad Monteávila. Hernández was also a visiting professor at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) and a visiting scholar at Georgetown University.

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Roberto Simon

Senior Director for Policy and Head of the Anti-Corruption Working Group, AS/COA

Roberto Simon is the senior director for policy and head of the Anti-Corruption Working Group at Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the politics editor for Americas Quarterly. Previously, Simon served as the lead Latin America analyst at FTI Consulting’s Geopolitical Intelligence practice, advising global businesses on key political, economic, and policy challenges in the region.

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Video: Corruption in Venezuela - The Coming Reckoning

June 27, 2019

AS/COA launched the CCC Index with a discussion on the fight for transparency in Venezuela....