Buenos Aires protesters demand justice amid allegations of Argentina-Iran cover-up.
(photo credit: screenshot)
BUENOS AIRES – Hundreds of people gathered outside the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) Jewish Center in Buenos Aires on Monday to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist crime in Argentina’s history – in which 85 people were killed and more than 300 were injured.
Family members of the victims as well as President Mauricio Macri and several ministers were in attendance. Each victim was named and a minute of silence was observed in honor to those who died.
Speaking at the event, AMIA Vice President Ralph Thomas Saiegh said: “Justice was incapable of providing answers, we demand concrete progress in this investigation.”
One family member of a victim also spoke at the event, echoing Saiegh’s words.
“For the past 22 years every government has been promising solutions but [has] done nothing. It is time to speak less and do more.”
Ahead of the memorial, a variety of politicians visited DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas), the Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella – located in the AMIA building. Among them, Argentina’s Vice President Gabriela Michetti and the Governor of Buenos Aires, María Eugenia Vidal, had meetings with DAIA’s main authorities to talk about justice and share the pain with the community.
The vice president told The Jerusalem Post
that the 1994 attack was directly targeted at all Argentinean people. She also added: “The government will do its utmost to prevent any other attack and get to the bottom of the cause.”
Michetti said she expects both herself and the president to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but a date has not yet been confirmed.
DAIA president Ariel Cohen Sabban, told the Post: “The Jewish community is disappointed with Argentina’s justice.”
He noted, however, that it’s really difficult to gather evidence about what occurred 22 years ago.
Besides, Cohen Sabban anticipated that the state of Argentina will finally recognize and honor the unity of Israeli rescuers that helped during that chaotic day and put their lives in danger.
Macri’s new government is eyeing a “trial in absentia” for those accused of plotting the 1994 bombings, which means local courts could judge the main terrorists without their being physically present.
Cohen Sabban said: “We don’t know if that’s the best way to gain justice, but it could help the victim’s relatives and friends in an emotional way and could also revitalize the cause.”
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