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Rosenberg’s Last Laugh

Guatemala is buzzing with life or perhaps death lately, especially with the UN investigation of the murder of the attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg and his self-hatched political suicide. I have written about it for Hablaguate and Americas Quarterly and it still reads like a CSI episode or a film noir plot.

The investigation consisted of four parts:

(1) Who ordered and paid for the crime?
(2) What about the video?
(3) Kahlil and Marjorie Musa?
(4) Corruption charges

The results were part #1 and # 2 (so stick around for the continuing saga), but the murder of the Musas and the corruption charges put out by Rosenberg’s video are still to be clarified. Much like the Japanese crime movie Rashomon one gets the sense that the more you know the less you really understand, with more questions than answers surfacing with each detail. What I do get very clearly from the explanation of Rosenberg’s murder is a real sense of how tragicomedy happens offstage through the life of the balding, tormented and disillusioned figure of Rosenberg who was an embodiment of both the best and the worst of Guatemala. Having worked as an honorable attorney inside Guatemala’s upper echelon, Rosenberg experienced an emotional downfall not unlike Hamlet who lost faith in his mother (country that is) and could not quite overcome that fall from grace. In many ways the social drama he constructs around his murder drives home the point that the Guatemalan judicial system (in a country where 6,451 people were violently murdered in 2009 with only 230 convictions and a 96.9 percent impunity rate)  is broken exactly because his murder could not be solved  without the help of entities such as the FBI and United Nations. Perhaps the last relational act Rosenberg gave us was giving us this view into a snake that eats itself and you are forced to watch it hoping for something to change.

3 thoughts on “Rosenberg’s Last Laugh

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m not sure I totally understand this post. I’m familiar with the story but perplexed about your post. Do you really think Rosenberg killed himself? Everyone needs to ask themselves… who is to benefit from the death of these people involved.

  2. newmaya says:

    “We cannot talk about Rosenberg’s death as a suicide. It is about a person who is in charge of his own murder, but the people who execute it don’t know it is Rosenberg planning it,” said Carlos Castresana, Director of the International Commission against Impunity,

    I would urge you to read this very well written article for more details: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/13/guatemala-murder-rodrigo-rosenberg

  3. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the link. It was a very good article. My wording above was not the best. I didn’t mean suicide in the true sense of the word. I guess I still ask myself what did Rosenberg really stand to gain by having himself killed? Did he really think he could frame Colom? I’m pretty sure any lay person in Guate would know that no matter what the truth of a situation was, they wouldn’t be able to frame the president for anything in a country like Guatemala. Maybe sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. I don’t think we’ll ever really know the whole truth.

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