Latin America

“The case is still alive”

Guest post by Cait

Kirchnerismo has now tried twice to put an end to Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s charge that Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, her foreign minister Hector Timerman and two Kirchnerite heavies conspired with Iran to cover up the AMIA Jewish community center bombing of July 18, 1994, which killed 85 people. After Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound in his apartment, and after the prosecutor who was to have taken over following Nisman’s murder removed himself from the AMIA case, Nisman’s colleague Germán Moldes publicly committed himself to pressing ahead with Nisman’s charges.

On April 9 Timerman tried – and failed – to get a three-judge appellate panel to remove Moldes from the case. That day, Moldes told Radio Mitre that the government’s maneuvers “form part of a whole rosary of impediments and obstacles” but that “the case is still alive. They will say to me later that it’s on an official respirator or in intensive care, but it’s alive.”

It’s not known whether any of the non-Peronist presidential candidates will, if elected in October, pursue Nisman’s case against Kirchner, Timerman, et al. According to the Miami Herald, non-Peronist presidential candidate and Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri has led in several recent polls. Macri has said he would pursue “corruption charges” against Kirchner, but those charges are already many and various and should Macri win, he needn’t go as far as the AMIA case to be seen as keeping his word.

In the matter of Nisman’s death, Nisman’s former wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado (she has intervener status in the investigation into his death) lost her bid to remove the prosecutor, Vivian Fein, from the case.

Fein is arranging another “visual inspection” of Nisman’s apartment and has set up a “joint medical panel” to reconcile the conflicting forensic information, as if the facts could be determined by consensus. To re-cap, the official investigators found no physical evidence to speak of: no powder burns, no DNA on the clothing that was tested, no fingerprints, no bloodstains. An amazingly pristine crime scene after between 30 and 40 people are known to have traipsed through it. Among other things, Arroyo Salgado’s experts found bloodstain traces and determined that Nisman was shot execution-style while kneeling.

My bet is that more evidence is going to come out about the AMIA case, albeit slowly, but that no one will be brought to book for Nisman’s death.

It’s unlikely that Nisman included all his evidence in the document he was to present to the Argentine Congress. The case was not yet in court. Opposition congresswoman Patricia Bullrich has several times stated that Nisman had said there was more evidence. If Nisman entrusted additional evidence to others, it may be that the release of that evidence will depend on what happens with Moldes’s efforts to get the case to court.

The pressure on Moldes and others who seek to pursue investigations of the AMIA bombing and Nisman’s murder shows no signs of abating. On Easter Sunday, Ricardo Sáenz, one of Nisman’s colleagues – and one of the organizers of the February 18 Silent March in his honor – received a death threat via Twitter. The tweet, featuring one of the photos of Nisman’s corpse leaked on social media in March, said, “Tenés que terminar como este mamarracho” (“You’re going to end up like this idiot”). According to early reports, the authorities have shown little interest in investigating the threat.

For updates in Spanish on the AMIA case and on the investigation, such as it is, into Nisman’s murder, see the opposition newspapers,, and

For frequent summaries on both matters in English and Spanish, see, Within a day or so of its appearance online, the Buenos Aires Herald roundly denounced the website because it is sponsored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The Buenos Aires Herald’s complaint is that a major funder of the FDD runs a hedge fund that is battling to get Argentina to pay its defaulted debt. The newspaper, an English-language daily, is particularly irked that “several well-known conservatives” contribute to the FDD website.