Just weeks before Argentina’s presidential election, a prominent Colombian drug trafficker claimed he has information that will enable investigators to resolve the mysterious and controversial death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
In a recent interview with Perfil, Colombian drug trafficker Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias “Mi Sangre,” stated he was “absolutely convinced” that his testimony will clarify whether Nisman committed suicide or was murdered. Nisman was found dead in his apartment in January, mere days after he had accused President Cristina Fernandez and other top Argentine officials of covering up an investigation into Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.
Mi Sangre said he wants to “help clear up the reason behind [Nisman’s] death,” although in a separate interview he admitted he has no specific information on how the prosecutor died. Instead, Mi Sangre said he wants to testify about individuals linked to Nisman’s investigation into the 1994 bombing.
The prosecutor leading the Nisman investigation has accepted Mi Sangre’s offer to testify, although Mi Sangre said he would prefer to do so after Argentina’s elections on November 22.
A Colombian native, Mi Sangre was a leading member of powerful drug trafficking organizations, including the Oficina de Envigado and the Urabeños, before his capture in Buenos Aires in October 2012.
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If Mi Sangre does in fact provide information that helps investigators clear up the mystery behind the Nisman case, that would almost certainly have significant political consequences. Due to Nisman’s accusations against top Argentine officials, his case has been politically-charged from the beginning. Kirchner originally suggested the prosecutor had committed suicide but later recanted, saying his death was part of a plot to bring her down.
Mi Sangre’s testimony could also potentially play a role in Argentina’s presidential run-off on November 22, days after the drug trafficker is scheduled to testify in court. The Kirchner-backed candidate, Daniel Scioli, was the frontrunner heading into the first round of voting but currently trails opponent Mauricio Macri, according to the latest polls.
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Of course, it is highly possible Mi Sangre’s involvement in the Nisman case will have little to no impact on its outcome. The drug trafficker has already admitted that he has no specific information about the prosecutor’s death, and — although he denies it — this may simply be an attempt to gain leverage in his own judicial proceedings.