May 13, 2009 / 11:45 PM / 11 years ago

UN-backed commission probes Guatemala lawyer murder

GUATEMALA CITY, May 13 (Reuters) - A United Nations-backed commission will investigate the murder of a lawyer in Guatemala who said in a video taped before he died that the president might order him killed.

The U.N.-sponsored body set up two years ago to probe high-level corruption in the Central American country said on Wednesday it would look into the case because of doubts the Attorney General’s office could carry out an independent investigation.

Rodrigo Rosenberg, the legal representative of a well-known businessman who was also killed this year, was gunned down in an upscale Guatemala City suburb on Sunday.

The day after his murder, a written statement and a video were delivered to the Guatemalan media, with Rosenberg warning he might be murdered and accusing President Alvaro Colom of ordering the hit.

Colom denies involvement in the crime and blames opponents who want to destabilize his government.

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala said a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent is already in the country and will offer assistance to the commission.

Hundreds of people protested in the capital on Wednesday for the second day in a row, demanding Colom’s resignation.

Guatemala suffers from rampant street crime, with one of the world’s highest murder rates and Mexican drug cartels that are increasingly making inroads across the border. (Reporting by Sarah Grainger; Editing by Terry Wade)




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