Caribe Fest Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

Caribe Fest: A snapshot of the first day’s agenda

The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) kicked-off the Caribe Fest today with a call from its Executive Director, Carla Minet, to promote collaborative investigations, particularly among journalists from the Caribbean, a region that is united by common problems and experiences such as the climate crisis, which is the central theme of this event that takes place through this Saturday in Old San Juan. During the workshop “How to work collaborative investigations among media outlets,” Minet explained that collaborative writing is usually on topics that require a significant resources and experience. The CPI, based in Puerto Rico, has a long history of publishing investigative journalism in collaboration with media outlets in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Minet’s experience in this type of collaborative projects has shown that they tend to be more efficient because it allows costs and resources to be distributed, there is greater transparency in the findings, and the validation of the information. “What networking journalism does is broadens the scope of investigations and the possibility of having a greater impact,” said the Puerto Rican journalist.

Money-Making Opportunity Found for Sargassum in Puerto Rico

In a virtual conference coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme, in which the new findings on sargassum are presented, it is unexpectedly revealed that a research and production center that works with this algae is located in Cataño, a town across the San Juan Bay. Via Zoom, Jason Cole, Executive Vice President of Innovations of a company called C-Combinator, explains how they have been developing sargassum-derived products in Puerto Rico since October 2020. But in an interview with the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish), its director of Research and Development, Benjamin Jelen, confirmed that most of its raw material does not come from the island’s coasts, saturated with the brown algae, but from the coastal jurisdiction of Quintana Roo, in Mexico. Upon stepping into the company’s offices in Cataño, a research team can be seen analyzing sargassum samples. Bottles of biofuels derived from these algae are visible on laboratory tables.