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Efecto Cocuyo (English: Fire beetle effect) is a Venezuelan website devoted to independent media.[1] The website was co-founded in January 2015 by Laura Weffer, former director of Venezuelan newspaper Diario 2001 Luz Mely Reyes, and Josefina Ruggiero, former Content Director of Cadena Capriles—both award-winning journalists.[1][2]

Efecto Cocuyo
Efecto Cocuyo logo.png
OwnersLaura Weffer, Luz Mely Reyes y Josefina Ruggiero
Current statusOnline



Among recent issues of censorship in Venezuela, alternate media began to emerge in the country.[3][4] Following the resignations of Laura Weffer due to issues with the coverage of the 2014–15 Venezuelan protests and an arraignment of Luz Mely Reyes by the Venezuelan government following a report about gasoline shortages in Venezuela, the two began to plan a new project.[1] Their plan included the involvement of aspiring journalists and helping them with their talents through the "veteran experience" of Weffer and Mely Reyes.[1] Mely Reyes said that the project grew out "of the need for many to receive information, accurate, timely and transparent".[2] Univision stated that with the loss of independent media in Venezuela, the creation of Efecto Cocuyo began to "illuminate" Venezuela.[4]

On 8 January 2015, Efecto Cocuyo sent out its first tweet and received 12,000 followers on Twitter two days later.[1][2] On 15 January, they announced the construction of their website after they found a local website developer and found a location to stay in a small office.[1][2] As of March 2015, Efecto Cocuyo had about 40,000 Twitter followers.[1]


The website receives funding through public donations and has had the founders go to the streets in Venezuela asking for support.[1][4] Some funds have also been acquired through crowdfunding.[5] Funding received goes to new-hire reporters and toward "post-breaking-news analysis, investigative reports and comprehensive content about crucial information".[1]

In popular cultureEdit

In cartoons depicting censorship in Venezuela and the Venezuelan government's purchase of media organizations, the owners of Efecto Cocuyo were depicted as combatting such actions with the cartoons being printed in Mexican newspapers Reforma, Mural, El Norte and about 50 other publications in the country.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Weiss, Jessica. "New site Efecto Cocuyo takes on independent reporting in Venezuela". IJNet. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d de los Ángeles Martínezel, María (15 January 2015). "Efecto Cocuyo, "periodismo que ilumina" en Venezuela" (in Spanish). Miami Diario. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  3. ^ Minaya, Ezequiel (7 September 2014). "Venezuela's Press Crackdown Stokes Growth of Online Media". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Pelayo, Francisco (27 February 2015). "A pesar de la censura, surge un nuevo medio informativo para 'crear luz' en Venezuela". Univision. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. ^ Schipani, Andres (30 March 2015). "Social media offers salve for Venezuela's pain". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  6. ^ Weffer, Laura (22 March 2015). "Efecto Cocuyo es dibujado por el genio de Paco Calderón para el diario Reforma de México" (in Spanish). Efecto Cocuyo. Retrieved 5 April 2015.

External linksEdit