Latin America & Caribbean

Argentines react to prosecutor Alberto Nisman's death

Strong reactions have followed the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

Mr Nisman was found shot dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires on Sunday, hours before a congressional hearing where he was due to outline his accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. He had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died.

Officials have said there is no evidence that anyone else was involved in his death, and the government has called it a suicide.

But opinion remains divided and conspiracy theories abound.

Irene Caselli spoke to Argentines in Buenos Aires about what they thought had led to the prosecutor's death.

Matias Giotto, 18, student

"I think the government has to understand that people know that this case is serious.

"A prosecutor that was going to give evidence against the government died out of the blue. I think that Nisman was killed because he was against the government. I feel that the government washed its hands of the affair and that's why he got killed.

"I don't believe that he committed suicide. I think that nowadays, with all the technology available, it is not difficult to come in and out of an apartment without leaving any trace. I think many other Argentines think the way I do and feel angry."

Eugenia Sce, 35, owns a kiosk

"I think it's very difficult to get to the truth in Argentina in cases that involve corruption because impunity is high.

"I think the prosecutor felt a lot of pressure, maybe he was threatened, or members of his family were threatened. I think that he decided to take such a drastic measure because of the pressure.

"It's very difficult to investigate in Argentina, even more so considering that a foreign government such as Iran's was involved.

"I think the government is responsible for his death, someone who is investigating such a high-profile case should have more protection."

Pablo, 52, works in a news-stand

"It was not a suicide, someone killed him, because it was in someone's interest to get rid of him.

"I don't believe the investigation into his death is being carried out independently enough. The security minister was on the scene early on, why was he there?

"The government is responsible for this. We have to take to the streets to protest. This is an election year and we can show our discontent by voting against them."

Veronica, 42, bag designer and shop owner

"We need to wait and see what really happened. Everyone is good at blurting out opinions, people are saying that he was killed, and that the government was responsible, but really many other things may have happened.

"I am confident that the authorities will be able to clarify what happened. I don't think the prosecutor's death benefits the government. I think it would be very stupid for the government to try to get rid of the prosecutor because it's too obvious, everyone would point at them immediately.

"I think it's good that people take to the streets in favour of justice and democracy, because this death is serious and those responsible have to be brought to justice, but I don't agree with people that take to the streets only to protest against the government.

"We need to be cautious and see what the justice system says. This case has to be solved for the good of this country's democracy."

Federico Perisse, 29, lawyer

"Everyone has an opinion, but it's very difficult at this point to have a fair and clear point of view.

"I think at this point it's hard to establish whether he did really commit suicide or was killed. Both theories are quite extreme.

"The other theory is that he was pushed into committing suicide, and that is difficult for me to believe, because as a prosecutor he was quite aware of the reactions that would come his way. I think that he knew that he could receive threats. A prosecutor in his position is used to being threatened.

"I'm not sure what happened, I have many doubts. If this investigation takes too long, people will forget about it, put this story to the side, and concentrate on other news, maybe on something even more serious. Media also manipulate this according to their political stance."

Related Topics