Posts Tagged ‘#escandalogt’

Guatemala: The Twitter arrest and the Rosenberg murder

Friday, May 15th, 2009

A new development, somewhat related to the strange case of Rodrigo Rosenberg, Twitter http://twitter.com/jeanfer has been arrested for twittering on the case:

Twitter Tweeter Arrested in Guatemala

One minute, you’re telling people “what you are doing,” the next minute, you’re getting hauled off to jail. That’s what happened to a man in Guatemala who police say could have “incited a panic” with his viral Tweeting.

Jean Ramses Anleu Fernandez was taken into custody after suggesting on Twitter that everyone who had money in the Banrural bank should withdraw it all. The reason?: “to break the control that corrupt entities” have over the state-run bank.

Sounds innocent enough until you know the background. Long story short – the bank has been at the center of a political controversy that has involved the murders of an attorney and a finance expert, as well as accusations that the government has been complicit in those crimes. One of the victims even recorded a video warning of his impending death.

Banrural is the bank that Rodrigo Rosenberg, who was killed last Sunday while riding his bicycle, advised his client Khalil Musa not to join the board of directors. Rosenberg, in the video released after his murder, claims that Musa and his daughter were killed after Musa refused to take part in money laundering and other criminal activity at the bank. No arrests have been made in the three murders.

U.S. officials in Guatemala confirm that the FBI is investigating Rosenberg’s murder:

”This is one of the most dangerous countries in the world,” said Jose Rodriguez, who rallied against Colom. “Anything is possible.”

Gangs and drug traffickers have turned Guatemala into one of Latin America’s most dangerous countries. Still struggling with the aftermath of a 36-year civil war that claimed 200,000 lives, the country counts an average of 18 murders a day, making its homicide rate more than eight times that of the United States.

Only 2 percent of crimes go solved, according to the United Nations.

But back to jeanfer, he has not tweeted since yesterday at 2:39AM.

UPDATE
BoingBoing has a screen capture of the tweet that got jeanfer arrested:

jeanfer

It means, “First real action: “pull the dough out of Banrural” break the corrupt bank.”

jeanfer02

Prensa Libre has a photo of http://twitter.com/jeanfer being fingerprinted at the police station. He was accused of creating a financial panic.

Jeanfer was sentenced to a $6,500 fine, and will be held in jail until he can raise the amount. Here is his blog El blog de jeanfer

The tag for the Rosenberg case is #escandalogt
I’ll be using it from now on.