Guatemalan Twitter User Arrested for “Inciting Financial Panic”

Posted on June 8, 2009 

Guatemalan Twitter User Arrested for “Inciting Financial Panic”

Amid protests in the streets and on social networks calling for Guatemala’s president to step down after the assasination of a whistleblower attorney, Guatemalan police have arrested a Twitter user for “inciting panic” through tweets. In the capital city today, police raided his home and confiscated his computer.

Above, the tweet for which Guatemalan I.T worker Jean Anleu (“jeanfer”), was arrested.

Quick background follows. The Guatemalan bank Banrural is at the center of the country’s current political crisis: the recently assassinated attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg represented a finance expert, Khalil Musa, who was said to have refused to participate in corrupt transactions involving that bank. Musa was assassinated in March. After continuing to make statements about alleged government complicity in that murder, and in the financial crimes Musa protested, Rosenberg was himself shot to death this past Sunday. Days before his murder, Rosenberg recorded a video saying he believed he would soon be assassinated by forces acting at the orders of Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom. After his death, the video spread virally on YouTube, sparking widespread protests on and offline.

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