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"If you are watching this message, it is because I was assassinated..."
May 15, 2009 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Time magazine reports on a viral video in Guatemala: "When Rodrigo Rosenberg turned up dead on Mother's Day in an upscale neighborhood in Guatemala City, his murder was seen as little more than another execution-style shooting in one of Latin America's most dangerous countries. Now, after a video emerged in which Rosenberg accused Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom of orchestrating the murder, the killing has sparked civic unrest that threatens to topple the President of this fledgling democracy."
posted by shothotbot (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm afraid I dont really have an opinion about the sort of breathless "threatens to topple the President of this fledgling democracy" but I am hopeful someone can enlighten me.
posted by shothotbot at 6:41 PM on May 15, 2009


The "video recorded in anticipation of assasination" aspect of this is totally awesome; it's like something out of a movie. Hardcore, Rodrigo Rosenberg, hardcore.
posted by breath at 9:25 PM on May 15, 2009


BoingBoing: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:30 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. Well whether this is true or not I hope that it has some effect to inhibit other assassinations elsewhere in the world. (Of course, I suppose it might instead increase them, if the idea becomes to assassinate people before they can think of making a tape like this...)
posted by XMLicious at 10:13 PM on May 15, 2009


The cynic in me wonders how many of these sort of things are taped and then quietly forgotten about when nothing happens.

I'm going to record one a week starting Sunday.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:04 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fingering someone different as the culprit each time?
posted by brundlefly at 11:22 PM on May 15, 2009


"There is no proof, aside from the recording, which I discredit completely," says the president.
But... he's dead...
posted by callmejordan at 11:37 PM on May 15, 2009


I could be wrong, but isn't this a classic case of a dead man's drop?
posted by Ryvar at 12:00 AM on May 16, 2009


It's unfortunate, but my first thought is always "I wonder how the CIA was involved." This kind of set-up is just the sort of thing in which they specialize. So... does the CIA have reason to want to topple the current Guatemalan government?

If not, then I'm just a silly paranoic.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:13 AM on May 16, 2009


I could be wrong, but isn't this a classic case of a dead man's drop?

I think the novelty of it is the dead man's message propagating over the internet immediately.
posted by XMLicious at 12:15 AM on May 16, 2009


"There is no proof, aside from the recording, which I discredit completely,"

Didn't it say that an FBI agent showed up just after the video was released, to "help the government?" More like cover something up!!!
posted by callmejordan at 12:25 AM on May 16, 2009


Sorry, I meant to say this:
It's unfortunate, but my first thought is always "I wonder how the CIA was involved."
posted by callmejordan at 12:27 AM on May 16, 2009


"I wonder how the CIA was involved."

Oh, those Washington Bullets again ...
posted by philip-random at 12:57 AM on May 16, 2009


Can someone explain "dead man's drop" to me? I'm curious what it means. Sorry if this a dumb question, it's an interesting sounding phrase.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 AM on May 16, 2009


Having lived, and still having a business in Guatemala, this has not been a surprise at all. Imagine 2% of the people controlling all of the important economic hubs of the country and owning practically all of the land. Add to that a pretty much universal and ubiquitous complacence and denial of involvement in the genocidal civil war (anti Maya) that lasted for thirty years. Result: an institutional interest in keeping the majority of the population uneducated, illiterate and uninformed.
It's a fantastic country with wonderful people and amazing sights, from Mayan ruins to beaches to lakes and mountains and jungles, but politically, it's a mess and it's only going to get worse until it's more egalitarian.
posted by conifer at 2:42 AM on May 16, 2009


Imagine 2% of the people controlling all of the important economic hubs of the country and owning practically all of the land

Yea, hard to imagine.....
posted by crayz at 4:55 AM on May 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain "dead man's drop" to me? I'm curious what it means.

I've never heard that term outside of it being used to describe a dangerous cliff. The only thing I can think of that would make sense in this context is a dead man's switch, which is a fail-safe device that somehow activates when the operator dies.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:25 AM on May 16, 2009


So... does the CIA have reason to want to topple the current Guatemalan government?

Guatemala has a government?
posted by oaf at 6:14 AM on May 16, 2009


Can someone explain "dead man's drop" to me? I'm curious what it means.

I think it's referring to this trope that you see in a lot of thrillers:

"If I die or disappear, my attorney has a letter instructing him to open my safety deposit box after three days. Inside are pictures, documents, etc. that will bring down your company/government/marriage. He is instructed to give these to the press. So it's in your best interest that I stay alive and visible."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:25 AM on May 16, 2009


If not, then I'm just a silly paranoic.

That would be about it.

Hate to say this but the CIA isn't some rogue element. They follow orders from the President. If people are overthrown by the CIA, the President ordered it.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:33 AM on May 16, 2009


The President ordered the CIA to import tons of cocaine into the country?

Huh.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 AM on May 16, 2009


Guatemala has a government?

In January 2008 Álvaro Colom was sworn in as the new president of Guatemala. He won the elections in 2007 as the leader of Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE), a political party with a social democratic profile. The electoral process and electoral event were free and fair. Voter turnout was relatively high, especially in the rural areas. The elections resulted in a very plural parliament, with eleven political parties having representation. -- Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy

Political Culture of Democracy in Guatemala 2006
posted by dhartung at 1:00 PM on May 16, 2009


"There is no proof, aside from the recording, which I discredit completely," he said.

You know they're crooks when instead of saying "I didn't do it," they say "You can't prove that I did it."
posted by sour cream at 1:08 AM on May 17, 2009




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