“Before He Began, In The Spring Of 2009, To Prophesy His Own Murder, There Was Little To Suggest That He Might Meet A Violent End”

"Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die."

The first two crisp paragraphs from “A Murder Foretold,” a new New Yorker article about a mysterious killing in Guatemala, penned by the excellent writer David Grann:

“Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die. It wasn’t because he was approaching old age—he was only forty-eight. Nor had he been diagnosed with a fatal illness; an avid bike rider, he was in perfect health. Rather, Rosenberg, a highly respected corporate attorney in Guatemala, was certain that he was going to be assassinated.

Before he began, in the spring of 2009, to prophesy his own murder, there was little to suggest that he might meet a violent end. Rosenberg, who had four children, was an affectionate father. The head of his own flourishing practice, he had a reputation as an indefatigable and charismatic lawyer who had a gift for leading other people where he wanted them to go. He was lithe and handsome, though his shiny black hair had fallen out on top, leaving an immaculate ring on the sides. Words were his way of ordering the jostle of life. He spoke in eloquent bursts, using his voice like an instrument, his hands and eyebrows rising and falling to accentuate each note. (It didn’t matter if he was advocating the virtues of the Guatemalan constitution or of his favorite band, Santana.) Ferociously intelligent, he had earned master’s degrees in law from both Harvard University and Cambridge University.”


“Good afternoon, my name is Rodrigo Rosenberg Marzano, and regrettably if you are watching or listening to this message, it’s because I was murdered by President Alvaro Colom.”

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