Tens of thousands of people demanding justice marched in symbolic silence on Wednesday in soaking Buenos Aires to mark a month since the suspicious death of a prosecutor who was ready to accuse the Argentine president of a massive cover-up.
“I am here because I want to see justice done for someone who gave his life for the truth,” said teacher Marta Canepa, 65, among those traipsing the 1.7km under the banner “Homage for Prosecutor Alberto Nisman.”
Drenched in driving rain and led by prosecutors and opposition figures, the rally was the first major public show of defiance in a murky case that has ignited a political firestorm in Argentina and piled the pressure on Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, 61, in her last year in office.
Thousands also gathered in solidarity with the marchers in the cities of Rosario and Cordoba, in the resort of Mar del Plata, and in the northwest Tucuman Province.
Among those who braved the relentless deluge in the capital were Nisman’s two young daughters and his ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Delgado. People in the crowd applauded them when they recognized the three, dripping as they walked.
“The march itself is a reflection of society’s underlying demand for an end to impunity. Tension between the justice system and executive were there before, but the Nisman case has exacerbated them,” sociologist Rosendo Fraga with pollsters Nueva Mayoria said.
There were contrasting figures for the number at the rally in Buenos Aires: police said 400,000 people attended, but federal police said it was nearer 50,000.
Nisman was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a bullet through his head on Jan. 18, the day before he was to go before a congressional hearing to air his finding that Fernandez and her foreign minister plotted to shield Iranian officials implicated in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish-Argentine charity federation.
Eighty-five people were killed and more than 300 injured in the attack, the deadliest in Argentina’s history — one that has yet to be solved 21 years later.
Fernandez left the city with her Cabinet ahead of the march, delivering a speech from the city of Zarate after inaugurating a nuclear power plant.
Her government slammed the rally as golpista — seeking to destabilize the government.
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