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Video accuses Guatemalan leader

May 13, 2009|Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY — A slain lawyer's videotaped and posthumously broadcast accusation that President Alvaro Colom ordered his slaying threw Guatemala into an uproar Tuesday and prompted the government to call for a United Nations agency and the FBI to investigate the killing.

Colom vehemently denied the allegations made in a videotape left by lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg, who was shot to death Sunday by unidentified assailants while riding his bicycle. But opposition lawmakers called for the president to step aside while the killing is investigated.

"If you are watching this message, it is because I was assassinated by President Alvaro Colom with help from Gustavo Alejos," Rosenberg said in the video distributed at his funeral Monday. Alejos is the president's secretary.

TV stations repeatedly aired the video, and so many people watched it on Internet sites that some crashed.

In the video, Rosenberg says officials might want to kill him because he represented businessman Khalil Musa, who was slain in March. The lawyer says Musa, who had been named to the board of Guatemala's Rural Development Bank, was killed for refusing to get involved in purported illicit transactions at the bank, in which the government is the majority shareholder.

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