I've been generally a bit too busy to pay too much attention to the gathering crisis, but the first inkling I had that something was amiss came last week when we were channel surfing the local terrestrials and came across President Colom (pictured) addressing the nation with his entire cabinet standing behind him like a sombre Greek chorus.
It appeared that someone had accused him of complicity in the death of a lawyer called Rodrigo Rosenberg, and this was no mere case of a panic-spreading tweeter. No, Rosenberg himself had employed a decidedly old-media technique, leaving behind the sort of "If you are watching this then I am dead"-type production last seen in The Italian Job.
Colom's performance was a touch bizarre, scrunching his features into the sincerest of demeanors and waving his hands out in front of him whilst his colleagues behind looked as if they just might be about to whip out their daggers.
I haven't followed the details of the case, but I have been left to ponder the possible motive behind this crime. Other than the fact that Rosenberg might have won a competion for having the name the President was least likely to be able to enunciate properly in a televised address such as this, I can't see why the chief exec would have wanted to do away with him, ...though Colom might just have got a little complacent given the general state of impunity that prevails. (In his 18 minute posthumous YouTube statement, Rosenberg suggests that he expected to be whacked at any minute for having refused to take part in various complex financial porquerías at Banrural associated with the narcos and a number of non-existent projects set-up by Mrs Colom.)
A J'accuse from a dead man is bound to be a powerful stain on any politician's record, particularly in a nation inclined to superstitions of all sorts. Meanwhile, the social and racial fault-line that runs down the centre of the country has clearly been reactivated in somewhat spectacular fashion.