Una de Hormigas y Parchitas

Bet she's wishing she'd done her guisos with the Derwick boys...keep El Nacional off her case...
Bet she’s wishing she’d done her guisos with the Derwick boys…keep El Nacional off her case…

Kudos to El Nacional for writing up some of the detail of (one of) the megabucks scams at Bandes (a.k.a., the Economic and Social Development Bank, a.k.a., the place-where-both-our-current-and-former-Central-Bank-heads cut their teeth.)

I mean, sure, investigative journalism is a heckuvalot easier when the SEC and the FBI do all the investigating, but still. It’s good of them to write it up.

It’s all the work of Bandes’s one-time VP for Finance and Funds Management, María de los Diablos Angeles González, who has since stepped down from her post to spend more time with her jail cell. (She denies all wrongdoing.) The charge is that, working through U.S.-based compinches at the disarmingly-honestly named Direct Access Partners, Mary-Mary-Quite-Contrary pioneered the practice of having Bandes sell DAP bonds at a knock-down price only to immediately re-buy them from DAP at a premium. In 2009-2010, the scam netted DAP a cool $66 million.

Lovely to hear her co-conspirators were so respectful with her:

Cuando se elevó la confianza entre los miembros de la red, a González comenzaron a llamarla “la hormiga”. Otro miembro de la conspiración, un empleado del Bandes que luego cooperó con el Gobierno estadounidense, era llamado “Parchita” por alguna razón no explicada.

A separate investigation is looking into a similarly-structured scam at Banfoandes, also spearheaded by la hormiga – piece’o’work she turned out to be…

El Nacional makes a big thing of the fact that Venezuela has made no attempt to recoup its stolen $66 million. I make a big thing of the fact that an airborne swarm of pigs will blot-out the sun before El Nacional does a similarly detailed story on Derwick.

In fact, an older El Mundo story fills out some extra-fun detail. While La Hormiga was busy scamming Bandes, DAP was busy scamming La Hormiga:

La SEC detectó que con estas prácticas, la DAP ganó 66 millones de dólares sólo entre enero de 2009 y junio de 2010. En las investigaciones se descubrió que González esperaba recibir entre 5 y 9 millones de dólares por las comisiones, pensando que percibía la mitad de las ganancias (33 millones de dólares). Pero en realidad estaba siendo engañada por Clarke y Hurtado, quienes le presentaban balances falsos en una trama donde todo el mundo se engañaba.

No honor among thieves, I tell you…

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  1. Mrs. Gonzalez is fair game for El Nacional because she is not part of the system, and I don’t mean Abreu’s creation. I mean the system through which Venezuelan society supports its accepted members, no matter what they do. In the case of Derwick, the boys are part of the system, they are members of a great fraternity that is closely intertwined below the table.
    Noticias24.com is a good example of these incestuous relationships. Owned apparently by someone closely related to a member of the opposition, but clearly pro-regime. The dimension of this web is enormous.

    • You state very correct observations. What I find fascinating is how on one side Venezuela is supposed to be so deeply divided – at least the oppo and Chavista masses – and yet these guys of Er Sistema find themselves in a “conchupancia” in extremis.
      Or perhaps it’s like in Alien.

    • That is an interesting observation. I would just add, if noticias24 is a product of El Systema, El Systema would appear to have a strong following of oficialista teenage boys.

    • Gives Boliburgueses a new expanded meaning. I heard a lot of people who politically don’t like Chavez are making a lot of money from Chavismo… and honestly, if it’s legal, (not taking about corruption cases) I cannot blame them, or can I? Definitely a topic for discussion.

    • Like one big family? I noticed noticias24 is linking stories to russian hack site RT. American stories nonetheless. Why would they do that? I’m sure it has nothing to do with Eva Golinger working for RT.

      • What a slobber-fest! Those Derwick guys sure are efficient. I’m glad they’re around, otherwise we’d be having all sorts of blackouts.

  2. The communicational hegemony policy was preceded by a communicational blackout policy where nothing is disclosed by the govt about the details of its activities finances or operations except in tidbits carefully filtered so that only information is disclosed which can it can use for partisan propaganda purposes . The result that local newsmen and the Venezuelan public can only get to know about the failures or scandals of the regime when they explode as part of something which is reported abroad . All governement activities and decisions, failures and disasters are cloaked under a thick , impenetrable veil of silence or misinformation .

  3. funny isn’t it?, in any civilised country the stealing of 100.000 $ would make a lot of heads row and be a major scandal but in petrozuela no one bats a eye when it’s millions, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars

  4. Ummm…hello? It might be because I am a 40-something, but “parchita” is a very specific word of Venezuelan slang with a distinct meaniing….so don’t play coy with me Mr. Reporter, you know EXACTLY what they meant by calling him “Parchita”…….

  5. How can you live in Venezuela and not be tainted? Alas, both N24 and El Nacional (through the Movimiento 2D) usually torpedo the MUD’s work -for separate reasons, I guess-; like the current boycott against HCR, for better or for worse.

    Although, of course, there are also links with El Nacional and supporters of the Unidad. But we need to remember that politicians are rarely part of the economic elite. Thus, they are usually “out of the system”, as Mr. Coronel’s has ably put it.

    • I was shocked to see this morning that the 8 top headings in NT24 were made up of the statements of Jaua , Jorge Rodriguez , Adelina gonzalez, Maduro , Saman , Jose Vicente and Syrias president all spouting regime sponsored misinformation , and that the 9th was a neutral sports related item . News dear to the opposition or potentially anti govt where relegated to secondary or half hidden headings !! Don Gustavo is right !! NT24 is fast becoming a pro govt rag !! Utterly depressing !!

      • Ana and Frank sold out a long time ago. That site has been compromised for years. The original founders where not really opposition but opportunists looking to survive.

        • I was an early advisor and consultant to the site. I’m talking from personal experience. That site was pro-oppo for about five minutes. Money talks bullshit walks

  6. Understand that certain of the bolichicos families have become divided , some have cut short any relationship with their strayed members while others maintain it on the usual ground that ‘blood is thicker than water’.. GT is right that in Venezuela politicians are rarely part of the social and political elite which likes to exercise influence but not necessarily to be seen as wielding power directly . Its one thing that differentiates Venezuela from other Latam countries.

      • It’s an interesting confusion. Would you say there is a political elite?

        I always had the idea that the political and economic elites were pretty much what made up the state here, hearing all kinds of stories of happy guiso sharing with that peculiar Venezuelan sociological touch of family that is tighter than run-of-the-mill corruption but weaker than Mafia familiarity. The separations between them are usually more of a rhetorical necessity, no?

        Until the left that was never part of anything took over?

        I’m too young to have a true historical sense here.

  7. How come the government is not pursuing those 66 millions dollars who were stolen? Are they scare the US GOV will open a can of worms, of professional launderers ? mmmm

  8. What I meant to say is that in Venezuela high govt officials and political bigwigs seldom have high born social origins (Remember Paez, Monagas , Guzman Blanco , Crespo ,Gomez, Perez Jimenez, Betancourt or for that matter Chavez, all men of humble origins) , .Doesnt mean that while keeping their own separate identities the Powerful and the Wealthy dont sometimes find ways to do ‘beautiful music together’ .In the past someone high up in Politics even if low born would marry into a wealthy traditional family , now its less common. Generally there is a lot of social mobility in Venezuela , The conchupancia happens because Money and Power can become united in shared interests but not because money interest OWN political power . Thats the difference !!
    If you look at Colombia , there is a traditional moneyed class which children are constantly occupying positions of Power , generation after generation , that doesnt happen in Venezuela . At most wealthy people might become the junior partners of Men of Power in some shenaggigan scheme and accept them into their circles as the price to pay for the advantage thus gained. Remember who just got admitted into the Caracas Country Club !! But generally there is no confusion of Power and Wealth , only opportunistic unions that can break up when the demands of Power make it convenient .
    There is also something deeply ingrained in our national pysche and that is the automaitc cult and celebration of success , however achieved , by the poor , by the rich , by everyone , If you are a success all is forgiven and people find proud glee in personally associating with you. Yes understanding these things require an historical perspective.

    • Cool analysis, I think it answers my question perfectly… Of course, I don’t need to say that explicitly in a comment, but I also could not resist the chismoso in me: who did get admited into the CCC?

    • Well: perhaps a new era is coming. This is much much much much worse than what the Monagas intended to do.

      The Chávez clan (you know who they are)
      The Cabello Clan (Diosdado, who is right now in Russia looking for support for spying on Venezuelans, more weapons, and whose brother is David)
      The Flores clan (the name is legion)
      The Arias clan (father has the idea, son has the contract)
      The Ameliach clan (Ameliach El Gordo: governor, Saúl Ameliach, former amigo of Makled, now boss of Pequiven – replaced Inciarte, who now owns a set of alcohol shops in Florida)
      The Ramírez clan – linked to the Sanso family, also employed in PDVSA
      The Rangel clan (in Bolívar, not the other Rangel)
      and so on.

      In Carabobo on the opposition side we had the Salas-Feo clans, who have tried to create a feud there.

  9. In a news article of july 21 in el Nacional , the name is mentioned of an extremely wealthy regime insider whose cars have priority access to the parking in CCC from which I infer that the fellow is a Club member . I also know of a person who was generally understood to have been involved in certain unsavory govt business and who was admitted as a member a couple of years ago . The gentleman has since left the country to live abroad . Dont know that he has kept his membership .


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