FBI joins investigation of Guatemala lawyer's death

U.S. officials have confirmed to The Miami Herald that the FBI has joined the investigation of a murdered Guatemalan lawyer who — in a postmortem video — accused President Alvaro Colom of ordering his death.

U.S. Ambassador Stephen McFarland said the FBI sent one agent to Guatemala to assist in the investigation into Rodrigo Rosenberg's murder.

The case has shaken a nation with a long history of corruption and political conflict and a democracy still in its infancy, 13 years after the end of a bloody civil war.

"This is the biggest political scandal in decades," said Marco Antonio Barahona, director of political research for the Guatemalan think-tank Association of Investigation and Social Studies. "Whether or not it will cause Colom to resign – it's too early to say. But the allegations have motivated the public to act. And that could be powerful."

In the video, which was released by the lawyer's family members during his funeral on Monday, Rosenberg said he had documentation to prove that the president, first lady and two associates were involved in the April murder of a businessman who had uncovered their alleged money laundering scheme.

"I knew exactly how [they] were responsible for that cowardly murder, and I told them so and told those who wanted and could hear," Rosenberg said on the tape.

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