The YouTube video that could bring down Guatemala's government

Days before his murder, Guatemalan lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg recorded this video predicting that he would soon be killed and that the Guatemala's President Alvaro Colom would be responsible:

Rosenberg was shot and killed while riding his bicycle on Sunday. He had been representing a financial expert named Khalil Musa who was himself murdered along with his daughter after accusing a state-owned bank of corruption. Rosenberg had publicly accused the government of conspiring the kill Musa. The video quickly went viral after Rosenberg's death, sparking anti-government demonstrations with thousands of angy protesters demanding Colom's resignation and calling for an international investigation.

Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin has been following the tech angle on all of this including today's arrest of an IT worker for "inciting financial panic" by suggesting on Twitter that Guatemalans remove their money from the accused bank. Guatemalan Twitter users are responding by retweeting his post en masse.

Do we have a second "twitter revolution" on our hands? And does this one have a better chance of success? Over to you, Evgeny.

Update: Great rundown of the situation so far from Ethan Zuckerman.


Who is blowing up what and why in Nigeria

Yesterday morning, I woke up to an uplifting e-mail subjected: "Breaking News -- MEND Camps under Heavy Attacks!!!" Nigerian military forces were assaulting the bases of the rebel group MEND (the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta), the rebels' spokesman, alias Jomo Gbomo, wrote.

A bloody battle is on-going and two gunboats belonging to the army have already been sunk by mines...Oil companies operating in the region are advised to evacuate their staff within the next 24 hours to avoid them being part of the statistics of an emerging civil war."

In the last 36 hours, more bad news has been forthcoming: a MEND affiliate stormed the MV Spirit, a tanker of the of national oil company, NNPC. 15 foreigners were taken hostage. And militants promised to shoot down any helicopters and entered the region.

Clearly, the rebels are not happy.

But while this certainly counts as an escalation -- what's going on here is actually a painfully routine. The Nigerian military has been operational in the region for several years. Every now and then, they assault rebel camps -- and without fail, the rebels respond with fiery e-mails, hostage captures, and promises of sinisterly-named operations (this one was apparently called "Pearl Harbor"). Violence flares for a few days. Then, things go quietly back to normal. The military returns to the barracks. The rebels return to the creeks.

It's a system that keeps the conflict in a perfect state of violent inertia. Which in the end, might be what both sides actually want. The rebels have created a lucrative economy for themselves from oil bunkering, kidnapping for ransom, and payoffs from politicians who want the rebels to lay low. Meanwhile, the militay can safely say they're doing "something" about the crisis... while in fact doing little to address the problem.

No wonder rebels recently rejected an amnesty offer from the government.

"The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta rejects this evil agenda by the PDP and its cohorts and vow never to sell our birth right for a bowl of porridge"