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On the 27th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, families continue to demand justice

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The families of the victims of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured, on Sunday renewed their demands for justice. anniversary of the attack.

Argentina’s 300,000-strong Jewish community, the largest in South America, is angry that no one has ever been convicted of the bombing.

The virtual event was organized by the association Memoria Activa (active memory) under the slogan: “27 years without justice, full of memories”.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez paid tribute to family members who “remain strong in their demand for truth and justice”.

“In memory of each of [the victims] and in honor of those who have lost their loved ones, we must unite against impunity, ”he wrote on Twitter.

The bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA), a community center in Buenos Aires, remains the deadliest terrorist attack in the country’s history.

People hold up photos of people who died in the bombing of Jewish center AMIA that left 85 people dead on the 25th anniversary of the attack on Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo / Natacha Pisarenko)

The initial investigation was botched and marred by allegations of corruption.

In 2006, prosecutor Alberto Nisman took over the investigation and quickly accused then-president Cristina Kirchner, now Fernandez’s vice-president, of cover-up.

Iran and Hezbollah have long been linked to the attack. Based on investigations by the late prosecutor Nisman, who was Jewish, six Iranians and one Lebanese have been on Interpol’s most wanted list since 2007.

He accused Iran of ordering the attack via Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, but his efforts to prosecute five Iranian officials, including former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were halted when the Kirchner administration signed an agreement. with Iran to set up a joint commission based in Tehran. to investigate the attacks.

Then Argentinian Attorney General Alberto Nisman gave a press conference in Buenos Aires on May 20, 2009. January 18, 2020 marked the fifth anniversary of the mysterious death of Nisman, who accused Iran of the attack. against the Jewish mutual fund AMIA in 1994 and had denounced the former president Cristina Kirchner in the affair. (JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)

Iran has never allowed its officials to be questioned, although the country’s parliament has also rejected the Kirchner deal.

Nisman accused Kirchner of trying to work out the deal in return for oil and trade benefits, basing his accusations on hundreds of hours of wiretapping.

But just before presenting his findings to Congress in January 2015, Nisman died at his home under mysterious circumstances.

Kirchner is nevertheless under investigation, accused of covering up the attack and treason.

On Friday, she called for the case to be dropped, calling it a “political scandal” and saying it was being used as “an instrument of persecution of political opponents of the Mauricio Macri government” which followed her own.

In 2019, on the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, Argentina classified Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

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Erica Gill

The author Erica Gill

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