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  HOME | Argentina

Thousands Light "Candles for Nisman" to Demand Justice in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES - Thousands of people lit candles in Buenos Aires province to commemorate and call for justice in the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died last year amid unclear circumstances four days after denouncing the then-Argentine president Cristina Fernandez.

"Candles for Nisman" - an event which gathered together important figures in the justice system, Argentine politicians, and the deceased prosecutor's relatives in a square north of Buenos Aires - was more than just a tribute.

The ceremony opened with the reading of a letter from the prosecutor's daughters.

It was a call for justice from the Argentine people, who still seek answers to the events of January 18, 2015, when Nisman was found dead in his home with a gunshot to the head, the evening before he planned to go to Congress to detail the charges against Fernandez.

Even though one year has passed, the erratic investigation into Nisman's death has still not concluded whether it was a suicide or a homicide.

But Federico Casal, the lawyer representing Nisman's daughters, said in an interview with Efe that there is evidence the prosecutor was intentionally subdued and killed.

"We have no doubt that they killed Alberto Nisman," he said bluntly.

For Casal, because the prosecutor's death was "a complicated manouevre that was planned and executed with the efficiency of experts", Argentinian and foreign intelligence are directly suspected.

The death last year of the prosecutor, who was the lead investigator into the 1994 attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, an assault which killed 85 people, shook Argentine society and sparked a serious political crisis.

Nisman was found dead only four days after lodging his complaint against Fernandez for allegedly concealing the Iranian suspects responsible for the attack, an accusation based on the memorandum of understanding signed between Argentina and Iran in 2013.

"Someone ordered Nisman to be killed before the evidence was presented to Congress," said Argentine journalist Joaquin Morales Sola, one of the speakers at the event.

The case against Fernandez was dismissed last year in court, but with the change of government in December in the South American country, demands for case to be reopened have resurfaced, especially after the memorandum between Argentina and Iran has since been declared unconstitutional.

"What is important is that the death of Nisman continues to drive the demand for truth and justice, which we, as Argentinean people, must have if we want a true democracy," Graciela Romer, a public opinion analyst who attended the tribute, told Efe.

"We have to continue thinking that it is possible, that a better Argentina is possible, and then to support that vision," said Gabriel Muņiz, another attendee.

Also attending the event were vice-president Gabriela Michetti together with various officials from the new government of Mauricio Macri, representatives of the mayor's office of Buenos Aires, leaders of the Jewish community and delegates from various embassies serving in the country.

But until now, the only defendant in the case of Nisman's death is Diego Lagomarsino, a computer technician who had worked with the prosecutor and owned the gun that took Nisman's life.

Lagormarsino, who says he had "lent" Nisman the 22 caliber pistol that ultimately killed him, yesterday defended the theory that Nisman "was alone when he died."

"I do not know what happened. And if he committed suicide, we have to know if he did it because he wanted to, or because somebody forced him to," said Lagomarsino, in an interview published Monday by news portal Diez Sudacas.


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