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Argentines, out in force, mark month since mysterious shooting of prosecutor

| Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

BUENOS AIRES — Thousands of Argentines marched in the capital Wednesday demanding answers in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman exactly one month after he was found in his bathroom with a bullet in his right temple.

Protesters waved Argentine flags and carried white signs with black letters that read “Justice!” and “Truth!” Many also carried umbrellas to repel a burst of rain.

Blanca Perez, 81, said she believed Nisman had been murdered, and the government needed to account.

“If we don't have justice, we won't have liberty,” she said. “The government has lost control of the situation.”

Organized by several prosecutors, protesters planned to walk from Congress to the iconic Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires. While police declined to provide estimates, the 10-block stretch, plus many surrounding streets, burst with people, suggesting it was one of the biggest of several marches since Nisman's body was discovered Jan. 18.

The 51-year-old prosecutor was found in a pool of blood the day before he was to detail to Congress his explosive accusations that President Cristina Fernandez and top administration officials orchestrated a secret deal with Iran to shield Iranian officials allegedly responsible for the 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center in Argentina's capital.

Fernandez has denied the allegations, but her administration has struggled to confront a growing political crisis.

The president initially suggested Nisman had killed himself, then did an about-face a few days later, saying she suspected he had been slain. Authorities now say they are investigating the possibility of suicide or homicide.

Like many Argentines, lawyer Marcelo Lopez rejected the idea that Nisman killed himself.

“I'm worried about the future of my country,” he said, holding a sign that read, “They can't ‘suicide' us all.”

In the lead up to the march, the main opposition parties said they planned to participate, making it a hot-button political issue and adding to intensifying rhetoric from the government.

Fernandez has suggested Nisman was killed by rogue counterintelligence agents and has cast suspicions on Antonio “Jaime” Stiuso, who reportedly oversaw a vast wire-tapping operation before being removed by Fernandez in December.

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