In Guatemala, Chronicle of a Murder Foretold

I was quite alarmed this past weekend to read about the murder of the Guatemalan lawyer Roberto Rosenberg, which to me recalled the brutal, mafia-like slaying of Russian lawyer Stanislav Markelov.  As someone who has worked on a politically volatile case in this country for many years, whose team has received repeated death threats and kidnapping attempts, I take it very seriously when anyone who attempts to work within the legal system is deliberately targeted.  However this case suddenly got much bigger, when during his funeral a few days later, the following video was distributed in which Rosenberg himself appears to personally blame the president, the first lady, and several other government officials of plotting his murder to cover up a money laundering and fraud operation at Banrural.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories circling this issue right now, so stay tuned to this post as I make some calls and try to get some opinions from friends on the ground.  I have personally met with President Alvaro Colom several years ago, and I personally find this accusation entirely inconsistent with his character.  There are also indications of an organized plot to push for his ouster, but on the other hand the murder of Rosenberg cannot simply be taken out of hand.  A third party independent investigation is needed (Colom himself has invited the UN to intervene), but until then, I expect we will hear a lot of wild theories.  More to come soon…