Guatemala: murdered lawyer planned his own death

An investigation by the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has concluded that activist attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg planned his own assassination. The findings by the UN-affiliated agency apparently exonerate President Alvaro Colom of any implication of complicity in the lawyer’s death.

Carlos Castresana told a Jan. 12 press conference in Guatemala City that CICIG found it was Rosenberg himself who “who decided to put an end to his life” by hiring assassins to shoot him down while riding his bicycle in a suburb on May 10, 2009. In a video produced by Rosenberg and released posthumously, he blamed President Colom and First Lady Sandra Torres de Colom.

Some 300 officials participated in the investigation that included analyzing more than 100,000 telephone calls intercepted from 14 different numbers, according to Castresana. Videos, photographs, and documents were also presented to support the CICIG’s conclusions.

Investigators also relied on testimony from two persons implicated in Rosenberg’s death, his cousins Franciso José Valdés Paíz and José Estuardo Valdés Paíz. It appears that the 47-year-old lawyer asked the pair to contract a hit-man to carry out the murder of an unknown extortionist. Allegedly, they did not know that the intended victim was Rosenberg himself. The Valdéz Paíz brothers are now charged as masterminds of the crime.

In the posthumous video, Rosenberg claimed that he had proof to show who had murdered his clients Khalil Musa and Marjorie Musa. However, Castresana said that following a search of Rosenberg’s office and strongbox no damning evidence was found. Castresana said that errors were made in an investigation into the murder of the Musa couple, and that looking into the case now will require “archaeology.” (Spero News, Jan. 12)

See our last posts on Guatemala and Central America.

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