...I like doing most — and have been doing over the years — is to just go to where I think the story is, dive into the adventure and then report on what happened. It’s crazy, sometimes dangerous. In fact, I think that when people ask me, ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ is when I make my best work.”

Okke Ornstein

Journalist. War in Syria & Afghanistan, papers & prison in Panama, drugs in Colombia, Balkan with refugees. Lived in Panama for 17 years, now in the Netherlands.

Koop mijn boek!

"Het fascinerende maar onthutsende verhaal van Ornstein's gevangenschap in een Panamese cel."

Pitching stories, the right way around

If you’re a publication that wants to work with me, here is a helpful guide.

Panama Papers: Fake diplomatic passports

Dutch businessman Geerling Offereins spectacularly lost a libel suit he started against yours truly over his involvement with the Panamanian Fundación Core Diplomatique.

Mission Afghanistan

Bomenscammers in Panama

Zakken met geld zijn er afgetroggeld van investeerders door ze winstgevende tropische bossen in Panama te beloven. Het verhaal van jarenlang onderzoek — en juridisch gevecht — naar de schimmige activiteiten van een stel Nederlandse oplichters.

Protest against burqa ban

Flight to Syria

Ornstein hitches a ride on a rickety cargo plane right into one of the black holes of the Syrian war.


Bananama Republic

Controversial, adversarial, confrontational and influential — this was my Panama blog. Upsetting to crooks and kleptocrats alike. Journalism as a contact sport.