Rattled Argentina Disbands Spy Agency

Fernandez to limit powers of new intelligence service
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2015 12:43 AM CST
After Death, Argentina to Disband Spy Agency
A television screen in a restaurant shows a nationally televised address by Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez last night.   (AP Photo/Ivan Fernandez)

There are still far more questions than answers in the mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, but the case has already changed Argentina. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner—who earlier said she was convinced the death wasn't the suicide it was initially labeled as—has announced plans to disband the country's main intelligence agency and replace it with a new federal body that will have more limited powers, reports the BBC. In a televised address announcing the plan, which will be presented to an urgent session of Congress, she said the structure of the present Intelligence Secretariat had barely changed since the country's military dictatorship ended in 1983.

When Nisman was found dead earlier this month, he was just hours away from testifying about an alleged cover-up in the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994. In her address, Fernandez sought to link the death to a Nisman aide who was himself linked to the Clarin Group media conglomerate, reports the New York Times, which notes that the death has exposed a power struggle between the government and the intelligence agency. "We're finally gazing into the underworld where politics meets the security state and gangsterism," an Argentine historian at New York's New School for Social Research tells the Times. "This is one of those pivotal moments in Argentina when something subterranean emerges in a bloody fashion." (More Argentina stories.)

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