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Monday, January 30, 2017

A Portrait of Leonardo, Passport Fixer

Leonardo is a fixer. He started his business two years ago, obtaining Apostilles and registering birth certificates for relatives. “Many of them were leaving the country but they had no time to go through the whole process. I offered my services because I was in university and I needed the money. I’d go to the ministries of Education, of Higher Education, and Foreign Affairs. I stood in line, and got appointments online and I kept my ears open. That’s how I got the contacts that are helping with my business now.”  These contacts are the reason he charges Bs.25,000 to Apostille a birth certificate, Bs. 35,000 for a high school diploma, and Bs. 50,000 for a university diploma. The setup is simple: he asks for 50% up front. Once he has the money in his account, he gets in touch with his contacts in the respective public offices via WhatsApp. More…

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