San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Journalism

Costa Rican computer engineer awarded a Pulitzer Prize

Rigoberto Carvajal Pérez, a computer engineer, became the first Tico to win a Pulitzer Prize on Monday. He is part of the team that investigated and exposed the international corruption affair known as the Panama Papers.

Carvajal, 31, works as a data expert for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group responsible for exposing the affair.

His first project for ICIJ was the data transformation of the flat Offshore Leaks database into an interactive web application that allowed journalists and people from all around the globe to explore the networks of the offshore world.

The investigation, awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting, exposed the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. The year-long investigation represented the collaborative work of 370 reporters and 100 news organizations from 76 countries.

The work explained how Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers affair, sold shell companies and held bank accounts that were used to help conceal bribes.

Prior to his job at the ICIJ Carvajal was chief analyst in the investigative reporting unit of Costa Rica’s daily La Nación. He graduated from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology as a computer engineer. He also holds a Master’s degree in Database Technology from Cenfotec University, where he is currently enrolled in the Data Analytics/Big Data Certificate Program.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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