Thousands of people took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Wednesday to participate in a silent march in solidarity with Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who accused the government of a massive cover-up last month and turned up dead just before he was supposed to testify before Congress a few days later.
The circumstances of his death were mysterious and remain so. Earlier this month, forensic experts found the DNA of another, as-yet unidentified person in Nisman’s apartment, where he apparently committed suicide on Jan. 18. Last week another federal prosecutor said there were legitimate grounds to investigate Nisman’s allegations that the president and her foreign minister conspired with Iran to protect suspects in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
Since so little is known about the nature of Nisman’s death — and, for that matter, the validity of his accusations against the government — Wednesday’s march has given rise to all manner of insinuation about what, exactly, is motivating demonstrators. The government has accused them of plotting to destabilize the state. And others are calling the march an electoral campaign in a swipe at opposition politicians and government figures who are looking to brand (or rebrand) themselves in the run-up to the presidential election later this year.
At the center of the debate both about the march and what Nisman’s death portends for Argentina is a group of prosecutors who worked alongside Nisman in the Public Ministry and are organizing the demonstrations. They have disavowed any political agenda, even if by marching they’re implicitly criticizing the government.