Fear and loathing: Argentina’s infamous spy agency

BBC News reports: The death in Argentina of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found with a bullet in his head hours before presenting evidence before Congress against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has led to plans to overhaul Argentina’s infamous intelligence service.

Days after Mr Nisman’s body was found on 18 January, Ms Fernandez said his death was part of an intelligence “operation” to harm her government.

On Monday, Ms Fernandez announced the creation of a new body to replace the Intelligence Secretariat (SI), more widely known by its previous initials, Side.

She said the leadership of the new Federal Intelligence Agency would be chosen by the government but would be subject to senate approval.

“We must work to reform the Argentine intelligence system because the one we have has not served the interests of the nation,” she announced in a national address.

The SI is one of Argentina’s most feared and hated state agencies. [Continue reading…]

The New York Times reports: 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.

Mr. Lagomarsino worked in the prosecutor’s investigative unit as an information technology consultant and lent Mr. Nisman the .22-caliber Bersa pistol used in his death, investigators say. [Continue reading…]

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