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Montevideo, November 13th 2018 - 02:48 UTC

Argentina remembers terrorist attack.

Monday, July 19th 2004 - 21:00 UTC
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Thousands of people gathered this Sunday in downtown Buenos Aires to remember the tenth anniversary of the 1994 bombing of an Argentine Jewish community center, AMIA, that killed 85 and left 360 maimed or injured

Argentine president Nestor Kirchner and First Lady Senator Cristina Fernández together with several cabinet ministers were among the crowd that assembled in the same place where a new AMIA building stands in the heart of Buenos Aires Jewish quarter.

The ceremony was conducted by members of the Argentine Jewish community and a delegation from the American Jewish Congress that came for the commemoration.

Jewish organizations and next of kin of the victims asked President Kirchner to insist with the investigation of the bloody attack that remains unsolved. They also accused former president Carlos Menem (1989-1999), Argentina's intelligence service (SIDE) and former Federal Judge Juan Jose Galeano who had the case, for involvement in judicial irregularities including paybacks and cover up operations.

So far only a used car salesman and some former members of the Buenos Aires province police have been jailed for their participation in the sale of the car bomb with which the deadly attack was perpetrated.

AMIA president Abraham Kaul asked President Kirchner "not to extinguish the flame of hope" that was ignited at the start of his administration. Previous Argentine presidents did not participate in the annual ceremony fearing strong reactions from the relatives who blame the Argentine government for the lack of action.

"Argentine justice is dead," said Mr. Kaul, who then blasted SIDE for not preventing the attack, former president Menem for backpedaling on promises to launch a serious investigation, the Federal and Buenos Aires police for destroying evidence, and the government of Iran for "being the attack's command center".

Mr. Kaul also had harsh words towards Switzerland for "keeping bank secrets sealed" although the information was needed for the investigation, and the British government for "releasing the former ambassador of Iran in Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour", a suspect in the case.

Jaime Salomon from another Jewish organization accused Mr. Menem of "treason" and said the whole judicial process was a "scandal" with "impunity delaying and preventing the action of Justice".

Before leaving the ceremony president Kirchner indicated he supported all the claims of the Jewish community leaders, "they have synthesized what I think about the whole affair. But Justice will come, even when ten years have been lost".

"For the last ten years the Argentine state appears as an accomplice" underlined Argentine Interior Minister Anibal Fernandez.

AMIA is considered the worst terrorist attack ever in Argentina's history, although two years before in 1992, another similar attack destroyed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires killing 29 people

Categories: Mercosur.

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