As the troubling drama of Alberto Nisman’s death grows even more tense, Jewish journalist Damian Pachter has fled Argentina, writing about his ordeal in a personal essay for Haaretz.Pachter was the first journalist to break the news of Nisman’s mysterious death of a gunshot wound to the head the day before the prosecutor was set to present evidence implicating the Argentinian government in covering up details of the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.
Governmental authorities speculated at first that it was a suicide, and then the work of a disgruntled former Argentinian agent, in a conspiracy they say casts doubt on Nisman’s evidence against the current regime.
Many suspect something more calculated and sinister, from a hit from Iran to the Argentinian government itself. Some Agentinians have protested in response to official attitudes towards the murder.
When Pachter wrote about Nisman’s death on Twitter and for the Buenos Aires Herald, he began to receive tips that he might no longer be safe in Argentina. He fled first his city, and then ultimately decided to make his way to Israel in a series of steps to avoid arousing suspicion. Pachter’s escape is the stuff of spy movies, from secret sources, to coded warnings, to a stalker in the form of a government agent, almost stereotypically clad in a “jeans jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses.” It was the latter that finally pushed Pachter to leave the country altogether.
“When an Argentine intelligence agent is on your tail, it’s never good news,” he wrote in Haaretz. “He didn’t just want to have a coffee with me, that’s for sure.”
Whatever Pachter’s next move, it is unlikely to be friendly towards President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration. “Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system,” Pachter wrote. “I never imagined my return to Israel would be like this.”
Gabriela Geselowitz is a writer and the former editor of Jewcy.com.