With signs bearing his name, flowers, and necessary umbrellas, nearly half a million Argentines took to the streets Wednesday to honor Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who had accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of aiding and abetting Hezbollah terrorists before being found dead of a gunshot wound on January 18.
Friends, family, and fellow prosecutors organized the “silent” march, which featured no speakers, in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo, the city center famous for hosting generations of political dissident assemblies. Buenos Aires police estimated to the Agence France-Presse that more than 400,000 people attended the march, though Argentine news outlet Infobae places that number at closer to half a million.
Infobae adds that solidarity marches occurred elsewhere in the country–in at least five other states–which may place the number of individuals assembling in honor of Nisman past the half-million mark.
Among the leaders of the march were multiple high-ranking prosecutors and politicians. Elisa Carrió, an ex-governor, told Infobae that the march was “a revolution of the middle class” against President Fernández de Kirchner. “I see a people awaking at the birth of a martyr, which is something profoundly judeochristian,” she added.
Images of the march depict an eerily silent mass of people congregating in the rain, holding up signs and flowers, and occasionally clapping in Nisman’s honor. Argentina’s La Nación released video footage of the event:
Photos shared on social media reveal the scale of the event, as well as solidarity marches around the world:
— Karel Becerra – Cuba (@KarelBecerra) February 19, 2015
— infobae (@infobae) February 18, 2015
— Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@lourdesgnavarro) February 18, 2015
— El Cipayo Argentino (@ElCipayo) February 18, 2015
Nisman was found with a gunshot wound in his forehead on January 18, the day before he was to testify before the Argentine Congress to accuse President Fernández de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, and various associates of the Iranian government of conspiring to aid the terrorists responsible for the 1994 attack on the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), the deadliest terror attack in the nation’s history. Eighty-five people died, and hundreds more were wounded, in the attack. No suspects have been arrested so far. In his nearly 300-page report, Nisman argued that the Argentine government offered to help remove Hezbollah terrorists believed to be involved in the AMIA bombing from Interpol’s wanted list in exchange for more favorable oil prices in trading with Iran.
Found among Nisman’s belongings was a draft arrest warrant for both the President and Timerman, which he never presented to a court. The warrant would have set off an impeachment process to strip Fernández de Kirchner and Timerman of executive immunity. The President has been formally charged with aiding terrorists and awaits a response from the Argentine court.