Argentina: The Nisman effect, the late shockwave of the 1994 terrorist attack. Part I

Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, on his last public appearance before found dead.

Argentine society is being haunted by the ghosts of a recent past that remains unresolved. Past 18 of January, Argentina’s Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead by a bullet on his head, igniting the deepest institutional scandal of the republic since the terrorists attacks of 1992 and 1994 to the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA (Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association); though these fatalities are all intrinsically connected.

In 2004, in an attempt to amend the political arrears of the unresolved 20 years old AMIA Bombing case, deceased President Néstor Kirchner appointed Dr. Nisman Special Prosecutor to re-open the investigation and find the local and foreign agents who were part of the plot and bring them before the argentine justice. Nestor Kirchner at the time, could ever imagine the institutional crisis and political aftershocks that the unexpected death of the prosecutor would cause a decade later to its very own wife’s Presidency.

Over the last 10 years, the Special Prosecutor zeroed his investigations on the so called ‘Iranian lead’, which entailed the existence of an Hezbollah cell -as material authors of the attempt- under the  command of Iranian government officials, who allegedly were the intellectual authors of the plot. By 2006, Dr. Nisman formally accused 7 Clerics, and high Government officials of Iran, demanding its extradition to the Interpol for their trial before Argentine Justice. In his accusation, Nisman’s suggested that the Iranian plot of the 1992 and 1994 bombings, was not only to inflict damage to Israel and the Jewish community but as well to retaliate Argentina for its ‘…unilateral decision to stop supplying nuclear material and technology, as was agreed years before with the Islamic Republic of Iran’.

Kirchners’ affinity with Venezuela President Hugo Chávez, helps bridging the diplomatic rift between Argentina and Iran due Nisman’s penal accusations. Hugo Chávez might have personally mediated between Presidents Kirchner and Ahmadinejad, to facilitate a political arrangement, in which the Argentine government will grant the lifting of the Interpol warrants to Iranian officers and clerics, in return for an oil-for-grains trade deal, but as well buying heavy-water nuclear reactor technology that allows to produce plutonium out of natural uranium. These claimes , Venezuelan Bolivarian guard defectors have claimed recently in the Brazilian media Veja, which to some extent fits with Nisman’s 2006 investigations.

In 2007, when Christina Fernandez de Kirchner takes on the Presidency, the Nation makes a diplomatic U-turn and unexpectedly approaches to Iran looking to improve its relations. In 2010, Argentina and Iran strike, by which the nations will cooperate to bi-laterally investigate the Iranian and Hezbollah connections with the 1992 and 1994 bombings; yet this memorandum was highly criticized for single-handily surrender judicial sovereignty.

The problem emerges when last January 15th, Nisman formally denounces the current Argentine President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, for covering-up Iran’s officers of the 2006 investigation in exchange of economic benefits through the 2010 bi-lateral deal. Having just presented a brief memo of his late investigation, the Argentine Congress recalls the Prosecutor for a secret debrief of the rest of evidence the forthcoming Monday 19 of January. Yet, this meeting will never actually occur, since Prosecutor Nisman was found dead in his apartment the night before.

There are nearly 8.000 hours of phone records that the Special Prosecutor held in his files, featuring the voices of argentine politicians close to the current administration in suspicious para-diplomatic conversations with members of the Shiite Mosque At Tauhid of Buenos Aires and the Iranian Embassy. Not much of these records has been released yet, as they still are under judicial custody as proofs and will remain secret until the Federal Justice decides whether to open the Pandora’s box that Nisman brought to surface. Dr. Nisman was certain of having enough proofs to legally impute both the  Argentine President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for signing the bilateral memorandum as a stratagem to cover-up his 2006 criminal investigation on the 1994 bombing, zeroing on Iran’s government officers.

Since its death, innumerable theories have been drawn on the reasons behind such fatality, and not even the very judicial power investigating its death has a solid lead whatsoever; but one thing is for sure, his name will resonate nearly as loud as the bombings he was investigating.