Guatemala: charge nine in attorney’s murder

On Sept. 11 Guatemalan and United Nations authorities arrested nine suspects in connection with the May 10 murder of attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano. The suspects include William Gilberto Santos Divas, a former officer of the National Civil Police (PNC) who is considered the ringleader; his brother, Alberto Estuardo Santos Divas, also a former PNC officer; two former police agents; and a former army specialist. According to Carlos Castresana, head of the UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the investigation was based entirely on physical evidence: tapes from video cameras near the crime scene in Guatemala City’s Zone 14; a search of William Santos Divas’ car, identified from the tapes; and some 12,000 messages on Santos Divas’ cell phone.

The investigators said the nine men arrested were suspected of carrying out the murder; the search for the “intellectual authors”—the people who ordered it—is ongoing, the authorities said, along with an investigation into a possible connection with the earlier murders of business owner Khalil Musa and his daughter Marjorie. In a video made shortly before his death, Rodrigo Rosenberg said Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom and people in his circle should be held responsible in the event of the attorney’s murder. Colom has repeatedly denied having any connection to the crime.

The CICIG was set up in 2007 under UN auspices but with a mandate to operate under Guatemalan law in cooperation with the Guatemalan authorities. Its work in the Rosenberg case has won praise from National Civic Movement coordindator Luis Pedro Álvarez, Helen Mack of the Myrna Mack Foundation, the US government, and Rosenberg’s brother, Eduardo Rodas Marzano. (Guatemala Hoy, Centro de Estudios de Guatemala, Sept. 12)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 13

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