Assassinated lawyer accuses Guatemalan president from beyond grave

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Álvaro Colom, President of Guatemala.
Image: Agência Brasil.

In a videotape recorded prior to his murder on Sunday, Guatemalan lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg accused President of Guatemala Álvaro Colom and his wife Sandra Torres of complicity in his violent death.

"If you are watching this message," Rosenberg told the camera, "it is because I was assassinated by President Álvaro Colom with help from [private secretary to the president] Gustavo Alejos."

In the video, distributed at his funeral, Rosenberg attributed the motive of the incipient murder to his representation of businessman Khalil Musa. Musa and his daughter Marjorie were murdered in April. Rosenberg alleged that Musa was killed because he was unwilling to enter into corrupt dealings at the behest of president Colom.

Presidential spokesperson Fernando Barrillas categorically rejected the accusations. "This reveals the intention of creating a political crisis around a case that should be investigated and processed by the courts," he said in a statement posted on the official web site of the Guatemalan government. Barrillas also announced the intention to seek international help in the investigation of Rosenberg's murder.

Rosenberg was shot on Sunday while riding his bicycle in Zone 14 of Guatemala City. His video statement has been posted to the YouTube web site.

Helen Mack of the Myrna Mack Foundation, a Guatemalan Human Rights organization, called for the video to be authenticated by experts, describing the investigation of the accusations as "rather difficult at a political level." ((Translated from Spanish)) Spanish: bastante difícil a nivel político.


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