First jail sentence emitted in Rosenberg Case.
30 March 2010
Carlos Humberto Aragón Cardona, who collaborated in the murder of Rodrigo Rosenberg, was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. The charge was reduced from assassination in return for information on the intellectual and material authors of the crime. [Siglo XXI]
The Public Prosecutor's Office formally accuses 8 suspects in Rosenberg Case
January 6, 2010
The Public Prosecutor’s Office announced its accusation this morning of the 11 suspects implicated in the assassination of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg. Both the Prosecutor and the CICIG claim to have “overwhelming” scientific evidence against eight of the suspects. The other three will be judged separately because they named those who contracted them – the intellectual authors of the crime. Two pharmaceutical businessmen, José Estuardo and Francisco José Valdez Paiz, are now suspected of giving the instructions and paying for the assassination. The brothers are the cousins of Rosenberg’s first wife. [Prensa Libre]
Castresana: Rosenberg Case could be resolved this year
Siglo XXI, November 13, 2009
By Rudy Tejeda (cited from CEG Bulletin)
"There has been progress in the investigation, I think it is a case that we can resolve - I would say resolve completely - before the end of the year," affirmed Carlos Castresana, director of the International Anti-Impunity Commission in Guatemala (CICIG), referring to the investigation of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg.
For now, there are 11 individuals being held in jail as the material authors of the crime, perpetrated on May 10. The majority of them have ties to the National Civilian Police (PNC). The supposed ring leader of the hit-men was identified as William Santos Divas.
Castresana participated in the forum discussion "Impunity and Democracy," in which Édgar Gutiérrez also presented and which was moderated by Carlos Orantes.
The director of the CICIG stated that combating impunity should be a work of citizens and politicians in all sectors, not just the criminal justice sector.
Overview of Recent Advancements in the Rosenberg Case
14 September 2009
In the last week there have been two separate sets of arrests made in connection with the case. First, in the morning Septermber 11,2009, seven members of a criminal group dedicated to narco-trafficking, kidnapping and extortion were arrested. It is suspected that two of them were former or current police officers serving in the Guatemalan National Police Force. Another is suspected of being a former officer in the Guatemalan Armed Forces.
The head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), Carlos Castresana, asserted forcefully that “today the primary authors of the assassination of the lawyer (Rodrigo Rosenberg) have been detained.”
Later that afternoon two more arrests were made. The first person has been identified as Byron Santos Divas, brother of William Gilberto Santos Divas, leader of the criminal group. After his arrest, Carlos Humberto Aragón Cardona was also arrested in connection with the crime. The Attorney general, Amílcar Velásquez Zárate, argued that even after the arrests there are still many lines of investigation that still remain under way.
President Alvaro Colom congratulated the authorities on their arrests and reaffirmed his faith that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and he will be exonerated. Though Colom was mentioned in the video tape Rosenberg left behind, there has been no evidence of his involvement in the case.
Human Rights Groups Clamor for Justice.
14 September 2009
Human rights groups and civil society organizations want justice in relation to the captives accused of the murder of Rosenberg. The group of those arrested consists of 2 inactive police officers, 1 former soldier and 4 others. Carlos Castestrana, head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala assured that 3 of the new people in custody directly took part in the May 10th murder of Rosenberg. [La Hora]
Seven held in Guatemalan lawyer's death.
11 September 2009
Guatemalan authorities said they arrested seven men Friday in connection with the May 10 slaying of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg, who left behind a videotape saying that if anything happened to him, President Alvaro Colom would be responsible. Three of the suspects will be charged with murder, and the other four are accused of belonging to the criminal gang that carried out the crime. Still being sought is whoever gave the order to kill Rosenberg. [CNN.com] [Prensa Libre] Read more on the Rosenberg case.
Rosenberg Case: Subpoena of Accused Could Take Years
2 July 2009
The head of the CICIG, Carlos Castresana, has said that the summons for those named in Rodrigo Rosenberg's video recorded before his assassination could take years. The video names President Alvaro Colom, his wife, Sandra Torres, his private secretary, Gustavo Alejos, Fernando Pena, manager of Banrural, Jose Angel Lopez, president of Banrural, and Gregorio Valdes, a businessman. Castresana credited the lengthy process to the fact that cases related to economic crimes are more difficult to solve because they require a lot of documentation. The case is still active, but no one has been taken into custody. Due to a request by the Special Prosecution of CICIG, the case remains confidential. [el Periodico]
OAS Voices Support for CICIG's Investigation
26 May 2009
José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), said today that the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) must show that there will not be impunity in the investigation on the death of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg. He expressed full support for the CICIG as they work on this complex case.
In regards to President Colom’s role in the assassination, Insulza stated that Colom’s government is seen favorably throughout the region and worldwide and the video and its accusation of Colom’s complicity came as a great surprise. Insulza also voiced his disagreement with the Partido Patriota’s call for Colom to be removed from office while he is investigated.
Secretary General Insulza also declared that in this “difficult moment,” the only way for Guatemala to overcome the crisis is to strengthen democratic institutions and increase development.
GHRC Supports Full Investigation in Rosenberg Case
15 May 2009
The murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg has generated crisis and division across Guatemala. Rosenberg was killed Sunday, May 10, 2009 while riding his bicycle in Guatemala City. Prior to his death, he recorded a video accusing President
Álvaro Colom, his wife, his private secretary, and others in the Colom administration for his murder. The release of the video sent people
marching in the streets of Guatemala City, demanding from different sectors an end to violence, the resignation of the president, and support for the president.
The rule of law must be respected. GHRC supports the demand for a full investigation of the murder, the information exposed in the video, those involved with the video and its dissemination, and those with interests related to it.
GHRC recognizes and supports the CICIG as the sole impartial and objective investigator of the case and condemns acts of destabilization by those who have taken advantage of the current situation to further their own political interests.
GHRC is in close consultation concerning this case with the Convergence for Human Rights, a coalition of Guatemalan NGOs including: the International Center for Human Rights Investigations (CIIDH), the Human Rights Legal Action Center (CALDH), the Institute for Comparative Studies in Criminal Law (ICCPG), the Human Rights Office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala (ODHAG), Security in Democracy (SEDEM), and the Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit (UDEFEGUA).
Guatemalan Organizations Call For a Full Investigation in the Roseberg Case
14 May 2009
The Convergence for Human Rights, a coalition of Guatemalan NGOs, published a memo on May 14, 2009 directed at the national and international community.
The memo highlights the need for an exhaustive investigation of the information exposed in the video made public after the assassination of Rodrigo Rosenberg, as well as an investigation of those tied to the video, its dissemination, and the possible interests which could be related to its existence.
The Convergence for Human Rights also underlines the need to guarantee suitable conditions for Public Ministry and the UN Anti-Impunity Commission to investigate the case impartially and objectively. It stresses that in order to obtain the justice that all Guatemalans deserve, especially the victims of this type of crime, it is necessary for social organizations to maintain vigilance to guarantee an independent process.
The Convergence demands that the rule of law be respected and condemns acts of destabilization interested parties trying to take advantage of the situation to further their own interests.
The memo calls on the national and international community to provide support and to follow the investigation so that the events may be clarified as soon as possible.
Read the memo in Spanish. Lea el comunicado.
Guatemalans have taken to the streets to demand an investigation, and to express their opinions of Colom, both for and against. Colom has said he will not step down and will allow the CICIG to take the lead on the investigation.
View images of the response from Guatemalan citizens on James Rodriguez's Blog, MiMundo.