On January 18, 2015, Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment. His death, coming one day before he was due to appear in the National Congress to describe his recently announced formal denunciation of then president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, unleashed a storm of accusations and counteraccusations, political speculation, rumors, and legal battles. In this article, I explore the multifold processes of truth-making around this event. In proposing the term “moral economy of truth,” I signal how understandings of truth serve as a field within which knowledge is produced and legitimated, and also how these constructed knowledges are marketed and circulated to consuming publics. I focus on two spheres of knowledge production—the legal system and the media—to demonstrate how each contains technologies of truth-making, and I argue that debates over what constitutes authoritative knowledge structure the possibilities for creating “truth” out of the unexpected.
The Death of an Argentine Prosecutor and the Moral Economy of Truth
Karen Ann Faulk is an anthropologist with the Women’s Institute at Chatham University. She is the author of In the Wake of Neoliberalism: Citizenship and Human Rights in Argentina (2013) and coeditor of A Sense of Justice: Legal Knowledge and Lived Experience in Latin America (2016).