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  HOME | Argentina

Sports Agent Named Argentina’s Next Spy Chief

BUENOS AIRES – Gustavo Arribas, an attorney who represents soccer players and a former Boca Juniors club executive, has been named the next director of Argentina’s Federal Intelligence Agency, or AFI, by President-elect Mauricio Macri, the Cambiemos coalition said Thursday.

“Attorney Gustavo Arribas was appointed by the president-elect, Mauricio Macri, as the new head of the Federal Intelligence Agency. Arribas worked with Macri for many years, especially during his time as head of the Atletico Boca Juniors club,” the conservative political coalition said in a statement.

The 57-year-old Arribas is one of the owners of the HAZ Sport Agency, which represents soccer players, and one of Macri’s close advisers.

He assisted Macri when the president-elect was president of Boca Juniors, Cambiemos said.

Arribas will replace Oscar Parrilli, who has been Argentina’s intelligence chief for a year and previously served as President Cristina Fernandez’s secretary-general.

Argentina’s intelligence services were overhauled in March following the unsolved killing of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

Nisman was fatally shot in his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18, four days after bringing charges against Fernandez, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and six other people for trying to conceal Iran’s alleged role in the 1994 attack on a Jewish organization in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead.

Many in the Argentine Jewish community believe the attack on the AMIA Jewish organization was ordered by Iran and carried out by Tehran’s Hezbollah allies.

Both the Iranian government and the Lebanese militia group deny any involvement and say the accusation relies heavily on information provided by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Prosecutors have yet to secure a single conviction in the bombing case.

The Fernandez administration indicated that there might be a link between Nisman’s death and some sectors of the former Intelligence Secretariat.

The president ordered a restructuring of the secretariat and its functions, and it was renamed the AFI.

 

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