After her movie-worthy, boat & private jet-included escape to Colombia (the type of absurd escapade that’s only a fantasy for most of chavismo’s political prisoners, including the ones that she put away), Luisa Ortega Díaz started to spill the beans on chavista honchos shenanigans during a Prosecutor General’s Convention in Brasilia. At least for now, her revelations are underwhelming.

Luisa reminded us why she once used to fit in comfortably among the chavista elite. Displaying shocking ignorance, she claimed that the government paid Odebrecht $300 billion for 11 unfinished projects in Venezuela: a ludicrous figure worthy of Austin Powers, or notorious hucksters Arevenca maybe.

You’d think by now, Luisa would have nothing to lose and so she came ready to present hard evidence. No such luck.

In her speech, Ortega Díaz made a series of evidence-free accusations against top chavistas: Nicolás Maduro owns a Mexican company that imports the products used for CLAP boxes, someone wired a Spanish company Diosdado Cabello’s cousins owns $100 million, her successor as Prosecutor General, Tarek William Saab, was involved in several PDVSA corruption schemes and ANC member Jorge Rodríguez was also involved in the Odebrecht bribes case, she said.

You’d think by now, Luisa would have nothing to lose and so she came ready to present hard evidence. In its absence, these claims are no different from the gossip you overhear in many a Caracas restaurant or autobuseta. She promised to deliver copies of the documentary basis for her claims to the authorities of several countries including the US, Spain, and Colombia. Why not the public?

Meanwhile, SEBIN released a video of its raid on her Caracas home. It shows a lavish, decadent lifestyle way beyond her Prosecutor-General paygrade. Frankly, it’s more outrageous than any of her allegations.  

Her muscle-bound replacement, Tarek William Saab also struck back reminding us of Luisa’s lackluster performance as Prosecutor General. As cynical as his statements are, they double up as an uncomfortable reminder of the many crimes and irregularities that went down during her watch. In the government battle to jam Luisa’s new claim to sainthood, the erstwhile Fiscal gave the government more than enough ammo over the years.

Venezuela didn’t morph from a peachy democracy into a narcokleptocracy suddenly in March 2017. The reality is that, for nearly a decade, Ortega led a corrupt and subservient institution that aided the government’s authoritarian drift at every turn. It’s naive to think that she’s the only one who has dirt on people.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. She said she’ll give the evidence to multiple countries. I agree with the comments about her flat, if that is indeed her flat and not a Godgiven operation. Speaking of Godgiven I’d love to see his multiple properties those sure put the fiscal crib to shame.

    • My kitchen is three times as nice. That one is equivalent to a rental unit. And aside from the walk-in closet and one pair of shoes and two jackets (teenagers buy Gucci jeans), that is far from the nicer homes I’ve seen in Caracas. Heck, one Ministro de Communicaciones built a five-car garage mansion way the heck up above the fireline on the Avila – and the road necessary to get to it. Her place is modest, by corruption standards, and somehow I get the feeling it was a “launching pad” for work, more than a place to spend a lot of time relaxing in – e.g. the major feature was the walk-in closet, to dress for work. A couple of cases of wine is nothing (I could get ten of them myself, I just don’t drink wine because it ruins the flavor of the food I eat, like, OK?), and neither are “private labels” that any vineyard will print up for you for an additional couple of bucks. (Taste, I have no comment on.)

      This piece seems like the opposite of a whitewash. If you attack everything that is not perfect, you end up with nothing but a desolate landscape.

  2. While this is the classic example of the pot calling the kettle black, I’d like nothing better than to see them tattling on each other until the house of cards fall and they all go to jail.

  3. At a minimum, Ortega’s position involves the admission that she, the State Prosecutor, suppressed evidence of corruption until it suited her personal agenda to publicize it. So, even absent a flashy life-style, she is just as corrupt as the rest of the Party Kleptocracy. It may be that she could be extraditable to the US also, if she sat on evidence of drug exportation cartels.

    But as real prosecutors know, evidence of criminal conspiracies almost always involves people with unclean hands providing information; no one else has access to the dirtiest corners and the nastiest facts.

    I wonder what kind of deal she can make.

    • You make some good points. Perhaps Ortega is fishing for an asylum offer from the US? Colombia & Brazil have already made overtures in that regard.

        • I think that probably she doesn’t have that much dirt. The Fiscalía would only have access to damning documentation if they had ever started an investigation and requested evidence from abroad (which is highli unlikely because she would’ve been sacked if she did) I think she is just bluffing for attention

          • She’s trying to bluff to the chavista nomenklature so they stop harrassing her, and she’s trying to sell what she has to USA so they let her stay there with most of her fortune untouched.

            If what she has turns out to be worthless for USA, tough luck then, she’ll have to survive as a taxi driver like Aponte Aponte has to.

          • I’d think she would know something about the prosecution of Leopoldo Lopez and Judge Afiuni, for starters.

          • Dirt about Lopez and Afiuni would involve her probably. Remember Velásquez Alvaray or Eladio Aponte? Right, no one does.

  4. Good one, César!

    The Venezuelan left (MUD) portrayed her as a hero too soon and naively, not noticing that she has changed sides only after Trumm [sic] started sanctioning heavily her Chavista peers. She is a hero for herself only.

    Trump first hit was Tareck El Aissami and his sidekick in the US, Samark Lopez Bello, in early February, Ortega Diaz changed sides by March. I believe that she has far more properties and money in the US than what she had left in Venezuela, and THOSE she’s not willing to leave behind.

    She’s headed to Florida, that’s where her journey ends. And she is now playing the victim card in order to sensibilize the Venezuelan left (MUD), the US left (DEMS), and a share of the GOP too. In Brazil, she’s already seen as some sort of saint by both media and politicians, and not as a Chavista criminal with the hands soaked in blood deeply responsible for the Venezuelan tragedy we deplore every day, she will leverage her newly acquired sanctity to get her political asylum.

    Her apartment and materialistic/decadent/decadent lifestyle is no surprise to me, and I had anticipated that in another comment:

    Wake the fuck up!

      • How my comment is negative, Gringo?

        The Canuck said it right below, NAUSEA is what we all should feel seeing the media and politicians throughout the Americas treating that woman as if she was the new fucking Lilian Tintori! She isn’t! She wants to enjoy her retirement in Florida, living large without having honestly worked for all the money she has.

        She needs to be arrested! I don’t care if Interpol sends her back to Venezuela either!
        And as César pointed out, she very likely won’t deliver any hard evidence of the crimes she and her peers perpetrated against Venezuelans in the last two decades.

        I believe that most of us want to see some JUSTICE being done, right? Isn’t it high time for that? How demanding a shred of desperately needed justice against those folks can be a ‘negative’ thing? If anything, my comment is desperate and nauseated!

        I will want to throw up seeing that woman living her lavish lifestyle with impunity in Florida! As an American, you should too, my friend.

        • Didn’t mean to ruffle feathers. She’s anti-regime at this point. The rest will come out. Justice would not be done by returning her to Venezuela – that’s not justice down there, and one would hope she realizes that now. Let’s see what she has before we judge.

    • No one thinks she is a saint, at least no one who has any knowledge of Venezuela. her hands are extremely dirty. If you think Venezuelans or international observers have forgotten her decade in service to Chavista bigwigs and her political prosecutions, you are sorely mistaken.

      Nonethless she has been very useful to the opposition, especially in destroying any remaining legitimacy of the regime and in showing divisions at the highest level of Chavismo, and she certainly has all sorts of useful information to the US and others.

      So, I’m not sure what is all the negativity about? What do you want the opposition and other countries to do, throw in her jail? What woudl that say to other Chavistas who want to jump ship? It would tell them that there is no other option but to stay, dig in, and do whatever they can to ensure regime survival.

      • “What woudl that say to other Chavistas who want to jump ship”

        What other Chavistas? LOD’s peers are Cabello, Padrino, Maduro, Delcy, Tiby, etc.

        At this point, the leadership can only surrender. And confess their own crimes, what LOD is not doing at all.

        Imagine someone like Tiby ‘defecting’ now, that would be hilarious, actually.

        And I’m sure MUD would treat her as a hero, and Brazil and Colombia would grant her political asylum even before she asks.

        • If you don’t understand how a top tier chavista

          -leaving the government,
          -loudly supporting the opposition,
          -clearly stating the regime is a dictatorship,
          -describing massive crimes perpetrated by the regime
          -providing evidence on those crimes on and on other regime officials,

          helps weaken the regime, then there is nothing more to say.

          We can worry about prosecuting her for her role after the regime is torn down. The MUD, for all their faults, is well aware of her crimes (many were aimed at them!). But for now it’s better to accept her and let her help their cause.

  5. When I saw the accusations yesterday they had the most Maduristic style to them, incendiary and with total lack of evidence.

    We had the wikileaks, the DNC mail dump by the russians. This was in all newspapers around the world for months, one would think Ortega would know better.

    I guess Chavistas are really that provincial.

  6. The piece on Ortega makes some very good points. Not sure how sympathetic one can be toward a person like her who turned a blind eye and profited while part of the klepto-regime and now turns informant in order to save her neck, especially if the dirt she has on others is not particularly useful. The images of her home are part of the regime’s discrediting campaign, although unwittingly perhaps gives a glimpse as to others officials live. Perhaps that sort of lifestyle was part of what el comandante meant when he talked about socialismo del siglo XXI Venezuelan style…
    Certainly with Ortega is fitting to say ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ or in venezolano ‘morrocoy diciéndole al cachicamo conchudo’

  7. Thank you for this piece. It is another warning to people thinking of jumping on the LOD rehabilitation bus that this is a bus to no good place.

    Sure she has evidence. And she should share it. But that is also exactly why she’s the wrong spokesperson for justice in Venezuela, and in no position to become some sort of self appointed prosecutor against the regime from afar.

    The word nausea came up on one of the posts recently. As I’ve been reading stories about the Prosecutor’s conspicuous acts of heroism over the past few weeks, an inescapable nausea has smothered my enthusiasm.

    I hope in her travels in free places, people ask her some simple, obvious questions of the sort that public figures face every day in free places.

  8. I believe Saab, I believe her., chavismo means corruption. The interesting issue the article is missing is how chavismo is attacking itself. Without help from anyone. Hope destruction comes soon.

  9. LOD is no saint , she could hardly be one considering the regime she was an intimate part of for more than 10 years, she is however a lawyer , and a lawyer doesnt give away the information and evidence it has collected until the right time , i.e. until it can be best used in a legal proceeding, this is where journalist imagination fails them ….before such time the rule is ‘dont volunteer information’ because it allows your target to prepare for it ……., In the US the different groups investigating the activities of the regime are doing exactly the same thing…..

    She expressly said that she had certified copies of a lot of documents , not the original ones which she could hardly take directly from the fiscalias files , the certification bit means she has been preparing herself for some time now, (certified documents are legally as good as originals ), but for her the press conference is just part of a bigger plan which goes thru an international legal process which hurts her enemies both financially and politically …….she had access to many inner regime secrets and is best equipped to furnish information that can cause maximum damage , specially if its used in the taking of decisions by international authorities in different oficial forums. This is what makes her defection so valuable ……she is the one with the inside dope …… and she can provide proof or leads that can embarrass the regime in a very catastrophic way.

    Im not the least bothered by her having engaged in some funny business herself , in the US more than 90% of criminal cases never reach trial because the culprit renounces his day at court having been rendered indefensible by the evidence provided by fellow criminals in exchange for some benefit from the authorities ….this is her trump card ( no pun intended) .

    I know of quite a few corruption cases which were discovered thru inside investigations but which were not killed but kept on indefinite hold to use as chips in a future struggle if it ever came to using it in some internal squabble ,so the cases against the newly appointed fiscal for example are likely true …..she specifically mentioned that he had insistently asked that they be subject to ‘sobreseimiento’ (where case is closed due to long time taken to advance it) which only happens when the case is still ‘live’.

    Evidently she was a bit flustered and made some minor factual ‘boo boos’ , but on the whole she was entirely credible …..she has the goods on those regime guys …..and will disclose what she knows peace meal and selectively for maximum impact …….

  10. For the time being LOD being given asylum and allowed to maintain the lifestyle that she has become accustomed to is a good thing. If her seemingly comfortable defection is seen by other regime members as a get out of jail free card, it may inspire others to make the same move.
    Certainly she knows of monies that are hidden in places or assets held under other’s names that have been stolen from the Venezuelan people. Her information may be very useful to authorities as they attempt to freeze assets.
    When this regime is gone, it is only right that she be made to answer for her transgressions. Either in Venezuela or any other court that has jurisdiction. Allowing her to retain her ill gotten wealth, while the people of Venezuela are struggling is wrong. I would imagine that she is negotiating some type of agreement that stops any government that she provides information to from providing that information for a future prosecution. This is basically a way to get some immunity outside of the arena that she may be tried in.
    She is politically astute and makes intelligent decisions. LOD’s actions are for her own self preservation.

  11. “Venezuela didn’t morph from a peachy democracy into a narcokleptocracy suddenly in March 2017. The reality is that, for nearly a decade, Ortega led a corrupt and subservient institution that aided the government’s authoritarian drift at every turn. It’s naive to think that she’s the only one who has dirt on people.”

    Cool, Cesar, you’re catching up. Finally someone calling this tropical criminal regime for what it really is, what I’ve been calling it for months: a Kleptocracy.

    More precisely, a Criminal Cubazuelan Narco-Kleptocracy. (CCNK).

    Of course that Mega-Kunt Luisa Ortega is just another ship-jumping rat. She has zero credibility after 10 years of Stealing, serving the Chavistoide Narco-Kleptocracy, jailing important guys like Leopoldo, being an obvious accomplice to every criminal act and mega-embezzlement of the disguised dictatorship.

    She deserves life in jail, no parole, in the same cell as Delcy La Fea and the even more disgusting Iris Varela. A small, dirty cell for all 3 beaaatches in Ramo Verde, for life. They deserve to starve, eat bad food, and deal with each other 23 hrs per day, in the shade. At least. For what they did to Venezuela’s people.

  12. Off topic: don’t know how reliable this is but have it from someone usually well informed that Trumps threat did not spring whole from his gutsy persona but rather is one of the options actually being considered by a committee of people headed by Vicepresident Pence to deal with the Venezuelan crisis . Mind you its not on the top of the list but …yes…… the option IS on the table !! Understand they are now meeting these days to decide what specific measures to take as part of a broader strategy……..!! Some of them are pretty ‘muscled’!!

  13. One could say: You’ve come a long way baby from “metropolitan” Valle de la Pascua in Guarico….to an exclusive apartment in an exclusive neighborhood in CCS, but there are other examples, like Sabaneta to CCS Country Club, Tinaquillo/La Vega to La Vineta, El Cementerio to Wellington, FL and on and on and on…
    I do not have any problems with her decorating the apartment with kitsch “art” including many self portraits.
    What you do in your house is up to you..although she could be a candidate for a pink zebra statue in the middle of that living room. In the end, what you do in your house is up to you. Wanna have a gold AK47 on a tea table? fine with me.
    But what are her claims to a rich lifestyle? a fortune made by her own industry?, or is it that she just had the right connections and took advantage of them? “no me den, ponganme donde hay”
    Her Alma Mater is “Universidad Santa Maria”, that elite center of knowledge where she also holds the title of professor (together with TSJ’s Maikel Moreno)….and Cilia and a long list of brilliant minds in the regime …and they secretly love to be addressed as “dotores” / “dotoras”
    Todos, todos..caimanes del mismo caño!

  14. Truth be told I was expecting a whole lot more..She didn’t present the evidence she says she has. She even just said Maduro, Cabello and Rodriquez and waved her hand and said “many others”.. Not very revealing… Her appearance was so hyped… As for her house I found it so underwhelming. It isn’t lavish, not even by Caracas standards…. big deal she has some designer labels. That is expected in every Chavista closet. Framed in gold would have been a scandal, but now what we were shown.

  15. Legally speaking she is still the Fiscal and the appointed TSJ magistrates conform the new TSJ so the suggestion that both directly take up the prosecution of the investigation into these corruption cases makes some sense , they lack of course the organizational and logistical support structure to operate like normal institutions and perhaps follow all the leads which the collected information and documentation suggests.

    So the US suggestion that this be done might be a step in the direction of creating a legal grounding for something more muscular does make sense . But still if the international authorities that receive that information follow up on what they indicate (bank acounts , money transfers etc) they may be able to take measures that hurt the ‘sanctioned’ criminals where it hurts the most …in their pockets.!!

    Additionally if sanctions are adopted not only at an US level but at a multinational level then they make any dealing with the sanctioned bodies or people and any US company or person a crime so they also act to isolate the sanctioned from help and support they may really need to carry on their activities and business.

  16. Ortega is a Bitch…..the idea she i has Chavista kryptonite is unlikely…….by that I mean that it changes nothing.
    .no matter what she has……madirto and Co. Party line…is lies…fabrricated….Cobello…laughing….Delci llaughing..
    Politics where never going to solve this problem…
    Theory have all they need….lenders that want to be paid…in opposition of the USA…a parasite in Cuba….perfect model for them to follow….on top of that their drug business is about to get a boost…the FARC are about to be the Richest party in Columbia……..the cancer grows


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here