Lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg was killed on May 10, 2009 while riding his bicycle in Zona 14 of Guatemala City.
The intellectual authors of the murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg where his cousins and friends, businessmen Jose Ramon Francisco and Jose Estuardo Valdez Paiz. The brothers Valdez Paiz where identified by 11 suspects arrested in September 2009, for shooting lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg on May.10, last year. But in reality it was Rosenberg who asked the brothers Valdez Paiz to help him to order a hit. The brothers did not know that the hit was on Rosenberg himself.
He was severely distraught by the murders of Khalil Musa and his daughter Marjorie Musa and was sentimentally linked to Marjory Musa, Rosenberg's mother had also recently died.
After the murder of the Musa family members he tried to prove that the government and other officials he named in the video where responsible for Khalil and Marjory's Musa´s murder. He could not find any proof. To intimate friends he said repeatedly "I am disintegrating emotionally, I am in despair and there is no justice in Guatemala."
Previous to his death, he bought 2 graves, one for himself and one for Marjory Musa. He left all his personal and professional issues in order. He announced to his staff at the office that he would retire from the law office. He left lawyers in charge of legal issues of his children.
In his disturbed and depressed mindset he decides to order a hit on himself and to make the video launching murder accusations and accusations of other illegal activities - money laundering and corruption, against the current government. Rosenberg made the video with the help of journalist Mario David Garcia, Luis Mendizábal distributed copies at Rosenberg's funeral.
In a video released after his death, Rosenberg accused President Colom, his wife and other high ranking government officials to have ordered his killing.
After the murder took place, President Colom required the assistance of the FBI and CICIG to investigate the crime and stated that he was innocent.
Rosenberg's murder was used by the right wing conservative interest sectors of Guatemala to try to remove Colom from office. The media and right wing bloggers played a key role in inciting the public to protest against Colom and to demand his resignation. The exception in the Guatemalan media was The Guatemala Times and the newspaper "La Hora". Oscar Clemente Marroquin, President of La Hora, maintained an objective editorial and reporting line.
The mobilized middle and upper classes demanded that Colom step down and the country's poor where mobilized to stand behind the head of state. It was a very serious political crisis for the government.
The case was less important internationally for the murder than for the political campaign springing from it, a campaign to remove Colom from office. That would have been a giant step backward for the country's fragile democratic institutions.
The first arrests came in September and Castresana said then that the suspects were members of a gang dedicated to kidnapping, extortion and murder-for-hire.
December 10, 2009, arrest warrants where extended for the Valdez Paiz brothers. They disappeared and have not been located to this day.
CICIG requested a media blackout of the case to avoid further killings related to the case. An investigator of the Public Ministry in charge of the Rosenberg case was murdered last year and the media had been leaking information related tot eh investigation.
Today's Press Conference was organized by Dr. Castresana to provide first hand information about the case and end the rumours and speculations in the press.
Present at the Press conference was Guatemala's Attorney General Amilcar Sarraté who introduced the case at the Press Conference. Several ambassadors of the countries that support the efforts of CICIG where present as well.
Castresana expressed that this case had special relevance because of the impact it had on the political situation and governance in Guatemala.
Castresana stated that Guatemala had 6,451 violent deaths last year, with an impunity rate of 96.5%.
Castresana indicated that Guatemala's Attorney General had been an active part of this investigation since the beginning.
More than 300 people had been involved in the investigation, from eleven countries.
CICIG started the investigation on the 10 of May, the same day that Rosenberg was killed. CICIG had been alerted about the murder before it became public knowledge because the case was considered of extreme importance.
Surveillance camera footage obtained from several residences of this residential area provided the evidence for CICIG to start to track down the murderers. The cars used in the killings where filmed, the owner of the cars where identified.
That is how CICIG started to identify the people involved in the crime.
The cell phones of the suspects where intervened, and CICIG and the Public Ministry where able to identify all the members of the gang and the intermediaries who contracted the killers.
Rosenberg told Luis Medizabal that he was receiving death threats from a certain phone. After the murder, Luis Mendizabal told CICIG that Rosenberg received death threats from a specific phone, from the 5 to 10th of May 2009.
Rosenberg gave the instruction to buy two cell phones to Luis Lopez, his bodyguard, he told him to never give a name, but Luis Lopez did, that is how CICIG was able to track down the owner of the phones.
Two phones where bought on the 5th of May.
Vide camera footage showed that this cell phones where bought by the body guard of Rodrigo Rosenberg.
Interviewing employees at Rosenberg's offices, CICIG established that it was Rosenberg who ordered to buy the cell phones.
Experts established that Rosenberg made the death threat calls himself, from one cell phone to a second cell phone at his own residence.
One of the phones was send by Rosenberg with his bodyguard to the brothers Valdez Paiz.
Luis Alejos, was friend of Rodrigo Rosenberg, he send the check of $40,000 from Panama to the offices of Rosenberg by DHL.
The secretary of Rosenberg sends the check to Francisco Valdez Paiz. Valdez Paiz realizes the purpose of the check and decides not to use it.
Luis Alejos did not know what the money was to be used for.
Conclusion: Rodrigo Rosenberg ordered a hit on himself. It was suicide.
CICIG will continue to investigate other pending issues.