The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 02 February 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on February 2, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report


Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.

Deceased Argentinian Prosecutor Alberto Nisman continues to fuel national scandal


A woman holds up a picture of late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman outside the AMIA Jewish community center during a demonstration to demand justice over Nisman’s death in Buenos Aires January 21, 2015.


This week’s snapshot focuses on the unfolding events surrounding the sudden death of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was to implicate President Cristina Kirchner of shielding Iranian officials implicated in a bomb attack on a Jewish charities federation office in 1994 that left 85 dead.

News Summary of events during the week of 26JAN-01FEB

  • 26JAN: A top aide to President Cristina Kirchner offered assurances Monday that journalists enjoy “full security” in Argentina after a reporter who revealed the suspicious death of a key prosecutor fled to Israel. (AFP)
  • 26JAN: The Argentine government again discredited the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s accusation that President Cristina Fernandez provided cover for the suspected Iranian perpetrators of the 1994 attack on the Jewish organization AMIA, and said it will end up “in the garbage can.” (EFE)
  • 26JAN: Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner has called on Congress to dissolve the country’s current intelligence services, in her first public comments since the mysterious death of a prosecutor rocked the country. (AFP)
  • 27JAN: Argentina’s most important Jewish organization was not in attendance when the Foreign Ministry held its annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony. (WP)
  • 27JAN: The security chief for the Argentine prosecutor who was found dead just hours before making allegations against the President, has been suspended and is under investigation, a judicial source said on Wednesday. (AFP)
  • 28JAN: The prosecutor whose suspicious death set off a crisis for Argentina President Cristina Kirchner no longer trusted even his bodyguards at the violent end of his life, an assistant said Wednesday. (AFP)
  • 29JAN: Prosecutor Nisman was buried at a Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires amid demonstrations. (WP)
  • 30JAN: The BBC investigated how the death of Prosecutor Nisman reflects Argentina’s politics and society in a larger scale. (BBC)
  • 31JAN: Diego Lagomarsino, the last person to speak with Prosecutor Nisman and who provided Prosecutor Nisman with the gun that was identified in his death, said that Prosecutor Nisman was afraid of government fanatics. (Guardian)
  • 01FEB: President Cristina Fernandez sent a bill to the Senate to create a new Federal Intelligence Agency to replace the dissolved Intelligence Service. (Telesur)

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Alberto Nisman’s death and unfolding scandal

  • @taos – Taos Turner, Correspondent: The Wall Street Journal, Buenos Aires
  • @DanCancel – Daniel Cancel, Bureau chief for Bloomberg News in Argentina.
  • @NTarnopolsky – Noga Tarnopolsky, Israel & Palestine correspondent. Wine columnist Follows Argentina & Switzerland.
  • @byrnepaulj – Paul Byrne, Seanchaí for the AP – Associated Press Senior Producer, Argentina+Southern Cone.
  • @lourdesgnavarro – Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent for NPR News.

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Alberto Nisman’s death and unfolding scandal

Uki Goñi, Argentine Author and Journalist

“I think the death of Nisman will be a turning point in Argentina. Of course what’s happening now is the president has ordered to dissolve this Intelligence Secretariat. They’re going to replace it with something else, which sounds like a lot, but it actually might be the same beast with another name. You know, President Fernandez has been about the most powerful president Argentina has ever had. She’s a well-loved president. But I think she might go down in history as rather a darker figure than she had hoped.”

–       Examining The Sinister Background Of Argentina’s Spy Agency, National Public Radio, 29JAN15

Sergio Berensztein, Professor and Political Analyst, Poliarquía Consultores

“She [President Kirchner] had been preparing the ground for this, hypothesizing about murder and then accusing Lagomarsino… She applies the same model to every problem. Reduce it to a simple conflict: her, the good person, against all the bad ones.”

–       Suspicion Is Cast on Aide in Death of Argentine Prosecutor, New York Times, 28JAN15

Jorge Castro, Political Strategist

“She [President Kirchner] has an extremely confrontational and polarized style of government. Cristina is always looking for an enemy in every situation, especially when that situation is a political crisis as we have now.”

–       Death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman highlights Argentina polarization, BBC, 30JAN15

Daniel Kerner, Latin American division head, Eurasia Group

In 2012, President Cristina Kirchner began charting a new foreign-policy course that set her and Nisman at odds. “There was a broader shift in foreign policy away from the U.S. and Europe.” The Argentine government felt less beholden to Western powers, and softened its position on Iran. “There were always doubts about the accusations against Iran. At some point, the Kirchner government may have just recognized that these accusations were a function of our closeness to the U.S.”

–       What Happened to Alberto Nisman?, The New Yorker, 31JAN15

Analia Del Franco, political analyst, Analogias

“I think the intelligence services killed him to give the government a body to deal with. His death is worse for government than if he had gone on filing complaints.”

–       Theories over death of Alberto Nisman stir dark memories in Argentina, The Globe and Mail, 30JAN15

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Alberto Nisman’s death and unfolding scandal

1. After 17 years on Argentine bomb case, prosecutor was sure ‘truth will triumph’

Media: Washington Post

Byline: Joshua Partlow and Irene Caselli

Date: 01 February 2015

Moments before Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman presented his findings in the case that had come to define his life, and just days before his violent death would horrify the nation, he texted a group of friends a solemn message.

“What I am about to do now had already been decided a while ago, and I am prepared for this,” he wrote. “I do it convinced that it is not going to be easy. Completely the opposite. But sooner or later, the truth will triumph.”

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2. Alberto Nisman’s death ‘responsibility of pro-Kirchner intelligence operatives’, claims ex-official

Media: The Telegraph (UK)

Byline: Martin Arostegui and Philip Sherwell

Date: 27 January 2015

A cell of Argentinian presidential loyalists in the country’s intelligence service organised the killing of a prosecutor investigating Iran’s role in the bombing of Jewish centre, according to a former senior official in the agency.

The former high-ranking counter-terrorism official said that the group would have acted without specific orders from Cristina Kirchner, the president, whom the dead prosecutor blamed for trying to cover up Iran’s role in the lethal 1994 blast.

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3. Suspicion Is Cast on Aide in Death of Argentine Prosecutor

Media: New York Times


Date: 28 January 2015

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s government on Wednesday cast greater suspicion on an aide to Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor whose mysterious death this month has shaken the country, by describing the aide as an intelligence operative — adding to its assertions that rogue spies were involved in the events around Mr. Nisman’s death.

“This kid’s situation is starting to look worrisome,” Aníbal Fernández, the president’s chief of staff, told reporters here Wednesday morning, referring to the aide, Diego Lagomarsino, 35.

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4. Dead Argentine prosecutor wary even of his guards: aide

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: Josefa Suarez

Date: 28 January 2015

Buenos Aires (AFP) – The prosecutor whose suspicious death set off a crisis for Argentina President Cristina Kirchner no longer trusted even his bodyguards at the violent end of his life, an assistant said Wednesday.

A tense Diego Lagomarsino, his voice breaking at times, recounted at a news conference in Buenos Aires how Alberto Nisman had pleaded to be given the .22-caliber revolver that was used to put a bullet through his head. Who pulled the trigger is not clear.

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5. Prosecutor filled with fear before his mysterious death, friend says

Media: CNN

Byline: Mariano Castillo

Date: 29 January 2015

(CNN)- Diego Lagomarsino is among the few who can offer clues about the puzzling death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

The IT security expert was one of the last to see Nisman alive.

Nisman was found dead in his apartment days after filing a report accusing the country’s top leaders of covering up Iran’s involvement in Argentina’s worst terrorist attack. It looked like a suicide, but now even the government has doubts that is the truth.

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6. Argentina prosecutor laid to rest as protesters demand ‘Justice for Nisman’

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 29 January 2015

The special prosecutor whose mysterious death set off a political firestorm in Argentina was laid to rest on Thursday, as an investigation continued into whether he died by his own hand or was murdered.

Alberto Nisman, 51, was buried in a Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires near several of the victims who died in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish charity known as Amia.

Nisman had spent the last 14 years of his life trying to unravel who carried out the horrific attack, which killed 85 people and injured another 300.

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