Guatemala: "El Efecto Streisand," Update on Twitter User Arrested For One Tweet On Political/Financial Crisis


Update on the case of Jean Ramses Anleu Fernández, aka "jeanfer" (shown handcuffed, above), the Guatemalan Twitter user arrested for a tweet related to the assassination of a whistleblower attorney who sought to expose corruption in a state-run bank (background).

* Today, Anleu was raided, arrested, sent before a judge, and sentenced. That's all in one day. Anleu's single, 96-character tweet resulted in a judge ordering detention and a $6,500 fine for inciting financial panic, which is a punishable offense in Guatemala. Until he can pay that sum -- more than most Guatemalans earn in a year -- he will be held at a detention center. He is sentenced to be held under house arrest after the fine is paid. I do not yet have copies of the sentencing documents, so I don't know for how long.

* Here is Juan Anleu's blog. He is a 37-year-old I.T. guy in Guatemala City who loves books and "geek stuff."


* VIDEO: Above, a Guatemalan newscast which implies that military police in Guatemala are seeking to arrest a second Twitter user who posted tweets about the Rodrigo Rosenberg murder, and the resulting crisis shaking Guatemala's political and financial systems.

* TIME has a story up about the Rosenberg assassination scandal that was the subject of Anleu's "criminal tweets." Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices also has a blog post up.

* News organizations in Central America are referring to "el efecto Streisand" in their accounts of the Twitter reaction to the Rosenberg case and @jeanfer's arrest. Here's what that means.

* Twitter traffic on the Rosenberg case, and on @jeanfer's arrest, is exploding. And with it, panic. A number of users are re-tweeting rumors that military police are hunting down other Twitterers, or that other arrests have already happened. Others are literally posting rallying cries, such as "Twitteros! Unidos! Jamas serán vencidos!" ("Twitterers! United! Never again will we be defeated!"). One such slogan in the banner at left (via).

* Some report that street vendors in Guatemala are selling DVD copies of Rosenberg's "pre-death tape" in which he accuses the Guatemalan president for his impending murder. Tonight, there is unconfirmed word (now reported on Guatevision) that one or more of the street vendors selling those DVDS have also been arrested for "inciting panic."

* Additional frequent retweets include observations like this one from @strgt: "If a tweet is enough to condemn someone for a crime, an 18 minute [YouTube] video should be enough to condemn [Guatemalan president Álvaro] Colom for ASSASINATION." Another wrote, "The death of attorney Rosenberg has returned [Guatemala] to life." Others have proposed "google-bombing" the Banrural website, or rallying to make #escandalogt a "trending topic" on the social network. Still others caution fellow Guatemalan Twitterers to watch what they tweet, presuming police are monitoring.

* Anleu's internet supporters are petitioning for charges to be dropped, and collecting funds via Paypal to pay his fine and legal fees. Details posted in the comments thread for this post. Anleu's supporters are also uploading TV reports about his case to YouTube, and dissecting inaccuracies in those reports with comment overlays. Guatemalan TV news organizations appear ill-informed about Twitter. One report I watched implied that he was a crazy provocateur who waged a mass email campaign of "financial terrorism." Not so. Mr. Anleu was arrested for having tweeted a single, 96-character thought.

* Libertopolis again live-streamed street protests today. This time, the protesters were out to support the arrested Twitterer.

* The "International Commission Against Impunity" in Guatemala has issued a list of persons who must not be allowed to leave Guatemala, pending investigation of Rosenberg's assasination.

* Someone has created a phony Banrural Twitter account.

* PHOTOS: At top, Jean Anleu as he is handcuffed and taken into jail. Below: Anleu's mother observing his sentencing today. Both images courtesy of Flickr user Surizar (cc), more in this photo set. Here is a more upbeat photo of Anleu, as he is met by Twitter friends at jail.


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