Luis V. Villaherrera2023-2024 Columbia University Scholars
Founder and President, TRACODA; Creator, GobData; Founder/Advisor, Centro de Fortalecimiento Democratico (Center for Democratic Strengthening)
Creating innovative capacity-building projects and technological tools to combat corruption and foster democracy in El Salvador.
Luis V. Villaherrera is fighting for democracy and human rights in El Salvador. In 2017, he co-founded TRACODA, which stands for transparency, social control, and open data, to create innovative projects that focus on technological tools and capacity-building to combat corruption and foster democracy. He launched an open platform app to track governmental data to find possible cases of corruption, which had more than 500,000 visits before the government banned it. In response, Luis founded The Center for Democratic Strengthening. The work of the two organizations, Luis’s boot camps on democracy, civic participation, and disinformation, has engaged more than 10,000 young people. Luis has developed projects that are helping journalists, think tanks, and researchers on an international level to enhance governmental accountability. Luis is focusing on taking TRACODA to the next level by developing new approaches for projects and technological tools and expanding his impact in the fight for democracy and human rights. Luis hopes to use the Scholars program to deepen his approach to connecting with different stakeholders to build grassroots movements, deliver messages to a broader audience, and push for accountability.