The Man Who Took On Puerto Rico’s Government With a Go Pro and Won

Lorenzo Delgado’s brand of documenting corruption has turned him into a powerful media figure.

Sep 10 2021, 2:00am

When Puerto Rico suffered through Hurricane Maria, several earthquakes, and the outrageous government mismanagement after those disasters, Lorenzo Delgado and his GoPro were on the case to hold officials accountable.

A cross between a private investigator and an internet influencer, Delgado—also known as El Leon Fiscalizador—uses his massive social media platform to call out corruption and take down some of the island’s most established politicians. During the 2020 Puerto Rican election, Delgado campaigned against seven of the island's mayors, using information he’d uncovered. All seven lost their races to other candidates.

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“I’m just trying to show people in Puerto Rico how the government works. And they're learning,” says Delgado.

Delgado runs a Facebook page with hundreds of thousands of followers, where he covers everything from abandoned troves of hundred-year-old legal records, to warehouses filled with disaster aid that was never distributed to Puerto Ricans. His first project was three years ago and involved documenting potholes around the city of Ponce, where he’s from. 

“I got tired of, you know, seeing how the government spends our money on the city, on the streets, and the people suffering. So I start to film with my cellphone. After that, I buy a little GoPro, and after that buy another GoPro.” 

Today, Delgado owns professional camera gear and high-tech drones, and has turned what started as a hobby into a full-time job. He also leads a program training others to expand his unique methods for holding government accountable, and his exposés have been covered by outlets that include CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. Delgados’ work has also made him unpopular with members of Puerto Rico’s political establishment, many of whom question his tactics as well as his motives. 

On the latest VICE News Reports, Roberto Ferdman tells the story of how one man's DIY project documenting corruption turned him into a powerful media figure.

You can also listen wherever you get your podcasts: Google Podcasts, Spotify 

CREDITS: 

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This episode was produced by Sam Eagan and Sayre Quevedo. 

VICE News Reports is hosted by Arielle Duhaime-Ross and produced by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Sophie Kazis, Jen Kinney, Janice Llamoca, Julia Nutter, and Sayre Quevedo. Our senior producers are Ashley Cleek and Adizah Eghan. Our associate producers are Steph Brown, Sam Eagan, and Adreanna Rodriguez. Sound design and music composition by Steve Bone, Pran Bandi and Kyle Murdock. Our intern is Leily Rezvani.

Our executive producer and VP of Vice Audio is Kate Osborn. Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. 

MORE: 

Corporations are Privatizing Power in Puerto Rico as Trump Administration Relief Aid Continues to Stumble

Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Empties Houses, Impoverishes Citizens

Puerto Ricans Were Already in the Streets When Yet Another Corruption Scandal Broke

Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico's Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

Tagged:

Corruption, gopro, hurricane maria, VICE News Reports, internet influencer

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