Finally making my way through this Rodrigo Rosenberg article in the New Yorker. It’s a long-form, in-depth article, that clocks in at about 14,000 words, which is one of the reasons why the tab has remained open in my browser for the last few months. It’s an astounding story, told almost perfectly by David Grann.
Between 2000 and 2009, the number of killings rose steadily, ultimately reaching sixty-four hundred.
The murder rate was nearly four times higher than Mexico’s.
In 2009, fewer civilians were reported killed in the war zone of Iraq than were shot, stabbed, or beaten to death in Guatemala.
The state’s counter-insurgency strategy, known as “drain the sea to kill the fish,” culminated in what the commission deemed acts of genocide.
Criminal networks have infiltrated virtually every government and law-enforcement agency, and more than half the country is no longer believed to be under the control of any government at all.
Incredibly, the death rate in Guatemala is now higher than it was for much of the civil war.
And there is almost absolute impunity: ninety-seven per cent of homicides remain unsolved, the killers free to kill again.
In 2007, a U.N. official declared, “Guatemala is a good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it.”
Guatemalans often cite the proverb “In a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
The election was one of the bloodiest in the country’s history: more than fifty local candidates and party activists were murdered, and Colom’s campaign manager was nearly killed by three grenades thrown at his motorcade.
As Don DeLillo has written, “A conspiracy is everything that ordinary life is not. It’s the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach. All conspiracies are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some criminal act.”
Castresana thought, Rosenberg had been making threats to himself.
As inconceivable as it seemed, Castresana and his team were now certain that Rosenberg—not the President, not the First Lady, not Gustavo Alejos, or anyone else—was the author of his own assassination.
Castresana says of Rosenberg, “He set himself off like a suicide bomber.”
“He was an honorable person.” He added, “He wanted to open up a Pandora’s box that would change the country.”