When Rodrigo Rosenberg turned up dead on Mother’s Day in an upscale neighborhood in Guatemala City, his murder was seen as little more than another execution-style shooting in one of Latin America’s most dangerous countries. Now, after a video emerged in which Rosenberg accused Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom of orchestrating the murder, the killing has sparked civic unrest that threatens to topple the President of this fledgling democracy. Thousands of protesters have demonstrated daily in front of the presidential palace, calling for Colom’s resignation. And politicians have said Colom should step aside during the investigation into Rosenberg’s death. “This is the most serious political crisis the country has faced since the signing of the peace accords” in 1996, said Anita Isaacs, a Haverford College political science professor who studies democratization in Guatemala. “The country is hanging on by a thread.”

The video spread across the Internet after family members handed it out during Rosenberg’s funeral on Monday. In the 18-minute tape, a seemingly calm Rosenberg, sitting behind a desk and microphone, alleges that Colom, the First Lady and two associates were involved in murder, corruption and money laundering. The group, he says, filtered public funds through a state-owned bank for personal gain and to finance drug traffickers. Rosenberg then claims that after Khalil Musa, a prominent businessman and bank board member, had learned of the Coloms’ scheme, Musa and his daughter were shot to death in front of a shopping center in April. Rosenberg says the President signed off on the killings. On Sunday, Rosenberg was shot in the head while riding his bicycle.

  1. Jägermeister says:

    Democracy, Central American style. 😛

  2. sargasso says:

    A brave, intelligent man – personal qualities misplaced in Guatemala.

  3. Billy Bob says:

    Corruption, left-wing style. Wait till Obama gets comfortable and starts knocking off people like Clinton did.

  4. Badcam says:

    Now you do mean “showing” or “posted” on YouTube don’t you. He certainly did not place it their before his death [nor after, mind you ;-)]

  5. bobsyeruncle says:

    wow – now that IS fucked…

  6. ken says:

    @Billy Bob
    left wing, right wing doesn’t matter. extremism is extremism!

  7. According to Rosenberg, one client, Khalil Musa, was a successful businessman who had been invited to join the board of the agricultural bank, known as Banrural, where he discovered that drugs money – Guatemala is a key transit point for drugs traffic to the US – was being channelled into “non-existent” social programmes run by the first lady.

    Doris Delmonte


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