The OSINT Effect

Néstor, A Journalist Uncovering Colombian Crisis and Corruption

Saul Yardley
June 5, 2024
5-minute Read
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OSINT Industries user Néstor Espinosa Robledo is an investigative journalist and data analyst for the newspaper El Colombiano in Medellin, Colombia.

Néstor has had many successes assisted by OSINT Industries’ provision for investigative journalists. He reached out to us to share his stories of how our platform has been key in various investigations: into corruption, fake news, suspicious government contracting, and - crucially - humanitarian crisis in the Darién Gap. 

CNN trekked with migrants through the treacherous Darien Gap | CNN Politics

Credit Cards on the Black Market

Néstor recently discovered Telegram groups on the black market with hundreds of leaked credit card details, attributable to numerous Colombian and international banks.

He selected an email from one of the cards, ran it through OSINT Industries, and easily revealed that this subject’s data alone had been leaked 13 times.

His results - revealing the vulnerability of customers’ data - have been published here (in Spanish/en Español).

The Government and the Mafia

In Néstor’s region, rumour had it that the Colombian government was receiving money from the Mafia.

As soon as journalists picked up these allegations, a suspicious campaign to malign the news media began on X (Twitter) and Facebook. Using OSINT Industries’ social media listening tools, Néstor discovered the questionable global spread of accounts sharing these messages - indicating government-backed bot activity.

His findings are published here and here (in Spanish/en Español).

Corruption and Control

These incidents suggested wider possibilities of corruption. Néstor began to investigate further, using OSINT Industries.

First, accessing government contract records, Néstor became aware that certain individuals were receiving an unbalanced number of contracts. Second, information from Twitter leaks showed one such individual, a “research lab”, was under government ownership - explaining why all its results favoured government interests.

He published his discoveries here (in Spanish/en Español).

Crisis in the Darién Gap

Located at the Colombia-Panama border is an inhospitable region known as the Darién Gap. This South American land bridge is a “no-man’s-land” of hellish heat, life-threatening wildlife and impenetrable jungle. 

Migrants and refugees from South America must cross the Darién Gap to reach the United States. It has therefore become a centre of humanitarian crisis. According to our source, smugglers demand approximately $400-500 to embark on this life-threatening crossing. Since 2021, over 130 people (and rising) have lost their lives in the attempt.

Therefore, a live-saving area of Néstor’s research has been powered by OSINT Industries - into “businesses” facilitating this passage. By putting the email addresses of suspected people-traffickers through OSINT Industries, Néstor found accounts linked to organised crime gangs, narco groups, and even terrorist associates.

He published his revelations here

#OSINT4Good in Action

As an investigative journalist, Néstor Espinosa Robledo was provided with free access to OSINT Industries. He could follow links between email addresses, phone numbers, and online accounts; he could see details on account existence, profile information, and even location-based data from public sources.

OSINT Industries was key in exposing serious corruption at the highest level of government, providing details on Mafia-connections, illicit contract awarding, and campaigns of propaganda masquerading as legitimate research.

Here, our platform helped to save migrant and refugee lives, by demonstrating that the internationally-observed process of people-smuggling in the Darien Gap is only possible when facilitated by significant organised crime entities.

Thanks to our platform, Néstor gave Colombians and the world better access to the truth.

For more details of Néstor’s work or to contact him, visit:

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