The figure of the honorary consul was born with a noble purpose: to strengthen ties between countries and provide service to expatriates where professional diplomacy did not reach. We could say that he is a kind of diplomacy low cost since it reduces the expenses of having a headquarters abroad and of compensating the consul for his displaced condition. Over time, this figure has been perverted by leaving some very desirable prerogatives for all kinds of shady businesses in non-professional hands. Without any desire to stigmatize this group, the truth is that justice is currently investigating a minimum of 550 honorary consuls throughout the world. I want to say that it has become an opaque area in which the good will that is supposed to the institution ends up being a focus of dealings. Two journalists from EL PERIODICO, Jesús Albalat and Ricardo Mir from France, have participated in an investigation (through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which has revealed that 30 Spaniards with this position are being investigated. Most of them are lawyers, businessmen or former politicians who have used their diplomatic status for illegal personal gain operations in some way. Without a doubt, this investigation will force governments and international organizations to rethink the figure of the honorary consul, which perhaps makes less sense in the era of digital globalization.

    The newspaper is proud that Albalat and Mir from France are part of this investigative team of 50 professionals, including also from EL PAIS and La Sexta. This type of work has proliferated in recent years because the complexity of certain events requires a deployment of journalists that is very difficult for a medium to face alone, not only due to resources but also knowledge and field work. . These invitations are, in fact, a recognition of the selected professionals who, in the case of Albalat, have already earned him various professional awards.. But, above all, he has made him -just like Mir from France and the rest of the newsroom- worthy of the trust of readers and subscribers who are the reason for the newspaper’s existence and our livelihood.

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