The first invitations to reporters from various countries to participate in the project were in charge of Marina Walker Guevara, deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In the early stage of the investigation, now known as Panama Papers, 30 journalists were in charge, all with experience in research. They met on June 30, 2015, in Washington, where the headquarters of the Consortium is located, to identify the stories behind the records.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, 96 journalists took part in transnational research. Six journalists from daily El Comercio and daily El Universo of Ecuador participated. The reporters did not receive any financial remuneration for their collaboration. Accessing the database was just the first step in the information process. A careful review of thousands of files followed the data verification, the contrast and the field newsgathering.
The stories of public officials were prioritized in the search and, if applicable, private figures that might cause harm to the community. This happened with the investigation this newspaper conducted to the Ortega Group and its company Terrabienes, which transferred abroad USD 7.9 million and is facing trial for massive fraud. Mossack Fonseca helped to create their firms in Panama (I).