Kirchner Placed Argentina On An Independent Path, Pbservers Say

(CNN) The legacy of Nestor Kirchner, the powerful former leader of Argentina who died Wednesday, will likely be his independent streak, which led to his country bucking local and international trends, those who studied him and knew him say.

A defining moment of his presidency may have occurred a mere two months into his presidency some 30,000 feet above the ground, during a flight from New York to Buenos Aires.

It was 2003, and Kirchner had just had his first meeting with President George W. Bush. As he headed back to Argentina, his chief of staff, Alberto Fernandez, broke some news to the president: a Spanish court wanted to put on trial retired Argentine military officers accused of committing human rights violations during the country's "Dirty War."