Everything related to corruption in the ownership of Spain was organized and put at the service of the public.
Thus, anyone – including judges, journalists and investigators – can trace the shame of the Spanish royal house, where financial scandals abound by the way.
An engineer named Jaime Gmez-Obregn is the creator of this tool, which can be found at ladonacion.es. It goes more.
A few weeks ago, citizens, journalists, even judges and investigators had at their disposal the new tool to examine everything related to the alleged corruption around the Spanish royal house and the suspicious movements of the former head of state, Juan Carlos I.
Spanish engineer Jaime Gmez-Obregn developed a daunting task of gathering information and linking data. You can find this site on people, companies, places, events, and dates. Plus, all of this data appears to be related to each other.
For this purpose, use exclusively public sources such as the media, official newspapers, public records or enterprise portals. And all this through interactive visualizations that make the story discoverable through nodes and that make the relationships between all elements of the plot visible.
Behind this tremendous effort is a personal initiative that is trying to provide more transparency to the Spanish institutions and public sector. Gmez-Obregn pursues this goal through what he defines as a “new equation”: “Use technology, data science, and modern laws of transparency,” he explains.
He argues that his work may be a “transcendent point”, as well as an “intellectual challenge.” In addition, he explains that he does not want his work to be used in the political propaganda battle of “acronyms or colors”, but should be understood as “a citizen’s initiative to demand more transparency in the management of the public.”
Camez Obregin identifies himself as a “professional engineer”. She graduated in communications engineering and learned a lot of mathematics and electronics, but since childhood her interest was focused on “those wonderful machines that are computers”.
At the age of six or seven, in the late 1980s, he came across a small 8-bit computer, a Sinclair Spectrum, which he still owned: “This magic machine came with some primitive video games and it could be programmed as well. Addicted to programming it. Like an addict … and even Today, “he says.
Last year, I made a tough decision: to temporarily put my life in a private company to dedicate myself full time to software development to give organizations more transparency.
Thirty years have passed since then. He started working with large amounts of data in the faculty and in 2007 began his participation in establishing a culture of open data (open data) in Spain. He participated in conferences and conferences, and his work was presented in international forums.
Entrepreneurship for transparency
“Last year I made a difficult decision: to temporarily put my life in a private company to devote myself full time to software development to give more transparency to enterprises,” he talks about how he began to fight an “innovative battle, through technology and technology. Data science, for the endemic problem that suffers.” Including Spain with corruption. ”
After 16 years as an entrepreneur in a small company, knowledge of the business fabric of the region in which he lives, Cantabria, northern Spain, and relations with departments, he decided to take on the first challenge: Map of general contracting in Cantabria.
After knowing the extent of the spread of the business community in the region with the public administration, “with its impossible rhythms, its permanent inefficiency, and above all, the arbitrariness of some decisions” made by political interests that do not necessarily coincide with the needs of a large part of the textile economic zone, this engineer decides that ” He exercises his freedom to “change things.”
Thus was born a tool that explores the nearly 26,000 contracts of the Cantabrian government and more than 4,500 bidders, with the intent to “showcase the many hoaxes who use public money”, some of which have been picked up by the media, and some have even been accessed and discussed in the regional parliament.
Jump to the royal house
But his biggest challenge so far saw the light of daylight a few weeks ago. Camez-Obregín describes it as “the largest public collection of data and documents relating to corruption in the Spanish royal house”.
It’s ladonacion.es, a name that starts from the strange donation of 65 million euros made in 2012 by the then-King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, to his ex-sweetheart Corina Larsen. A thread drawn by both Swiss and Spanish justice and led to judicial investigations indicating that the funds may come from the committee for granting construction of a high-speed train between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. .
On this and other issues related to the former Spanish monarch’s finances, rivers of ink have leaked into the media, but the data is so varied and plentiful that the restructuring was necessary. Now, this Spanish engineer collected and linked all this tremendous information.
To do this, a formal methodology has been designed to “record, link and interactively present information with utmost accuracy”. And he affirms that his goal is “to demand that the citizen be more transparent in institutions, as well as in the first country.”
For the rest of the state
“Now that I have the knowledge, have programmed the tool, and know the methodology, I would like to apply the three things to other stories of interest to the audience,” he says. Thus, the next challenge, which is “still in the oven”, could focus on public procurement in Spain.
Although the state is releasing data in the midst of new transparency laws, this engineer does not believe it is sufficient “to solve the problems that all bidders know and suffer from, to shed light on everything and prevent local bosses from continuing to sew with the public. The money. Clientelistic networks that poison citizens’ confidence in institutions and corrupt the economic fabric. ”
“Many of us are tired of corruption in Spain and defamation of institutions, but we are united by the conviction that with technology and data we can, from the citizen, change things.”
In order for citizens to “click on this data,” it is proposed to build new tools that “really create value for them”: “This is the most attractive challenge for me right now,” he says.
Cameez Obregín projects cannot be realized without a citizen’s commitment to the transparency of public institutions. Although his first projects, in the Cantabrian region, were self-funded, ladonacion.es and those who do bread have resorted to crowdfunding through the Patreon portal.
“It is my conviction that the public sector needs these movements that can only occur from the freedom and independence of a citizen who participates in the management of the public.” Therefore, anyone who shares his values is invited to contribute so that this engineer can focus all your “intellectual efforts” on these challenges.
It sums up: “Many of us are tired of corruption in Spain and discrediting institutions, but we are united by the conviction that with technology and data we can, citizens, change things.”
Ladonacion.es, Nuria Lpez, Rt, Twitter.