BUENOS AIRES - An Argentine prosecutor's mysterious death days after he made criminal charges against President Cristina Fernandez is part of an attempt to unseat her and bring neoliberals back to power, a senior government official said on Monday.
The comments by Gustavo Lopez, an undersecretary in the presidency, follow the death of Alberto Nisman on Jan. 18 after he accused the president of derailing his investigation into a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.
Nisman's accusations and his death have rocked Argentina and sparked a myriad of conspiracy theories.
Some Argentines pin his death on the government, while President Fernandez has suggested it was part of a murky plot by rogue intelligence agents to smear her name.
Either way, it has triggered one of the biggest political crises of Fernandez's seven-year rule and may bolster the opposition's chances of a win in October's presidential vote.
Lopez wrote in a statement that this was the exact aim.
"We are facing an attempted coup d'etat, that aims to get rid of the president, to end this political project that has been governing since 2003 and to restore the neoliberal conservative forces that governed for decades to reap their own benefits," wrote Lopez, who has in the past spoken to the press about the Nisman case and other issues facing the government.
Lopez said the government of Fernandez and her late husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner had confronted many sinister forces during their years in power such as the "international economic interests that live from usury, weapons trafficking and money laundering".
"Now they have come to get their revenge. They cannot stand the Front for Victory (ruling coalition) winning another presidential period and if they need to provoke a political death to achieve this, they will do it," Lopez wrote.