In Argentina, a Nation of Sudden Conspiracy Theorists

The mysterious death of Nisman is the nation's sudden obsession
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2015 11:52 AM CST
In Argentina, a Nation of Sudden Conspiracy Theorists
Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner delivers a statement in Beijing Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.   (AP Photo/Rolex Dela Pena, Pool)

The mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman has turned Argentina into a nation of Oliver Stones, reports the New York Times in a look at the new favorite national pastime, as various conspiracy theories blame President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the nation's spy agency, or really, anyone. "It has to either be the armed faction of narco-Nazi-jihadist international terrorism, or it has to be the Jewish-Marxism mafia that also involves the CIA, Israel and the Mossad," says one hot dog vendor. A recent poll shows that 48% of Argentines think Fernandez's government is behind the death, while 20% think he was a victim of an anti-government agenda, and 33% just don't know. The Times likens Nisman's death to that of John F. Kennedy—and says it's a hot topic on the therapist's couch. "All my clients are talking about the case," says a Buenos Aires psychoanalyst. "People are tired and scared. It’s a red-hot issue."

"Many people are in anguish over Nisman’s death and they’re grasping for ways to explain it," says a psychologist. "If Argentina were a patient, it would appear to have a disorder involving repetition compulsion over traumatic unsolved deaths." Indeed, the suspicions aren't without precedent in Latin America: The remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Chilean president Salvador Allende, deposed Brazilian president João Goulart, and even 19th-century hero Simón Bolívar have all been disinterred in recent years to see whether some other, murkier cause of death was at play. The results? No dice. "I don’t know who did it, but I’m sure we will never find out," says one 29-year-old Argentine. (More Alberto Nisman stories.)

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