Itongadol.- With epicenter in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the world will join next Thursday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, the most tragic terrorist attack suffered by the South American country that killed 85 people and injured hundreds. This new anniversary comes with a renewed demand for justice, although part of the expectation is centered on President Mauricio Macri’s decision to declare Hezbollah, the Lebanese organization accused of having organized the attack, as a «terrorist group» through a decree he would sign in the next few hours.
AMIA´s president, Ariel Eichbaum, said in an interview with Agencia AJN that he expects Argentina to move foward in declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group. «We are making progress in England and the United States with Hezbollah being declared a terrorist organization and now we expect Argentina to take a step in that direction. Nations cannot tolerate terrorism to have sources of financing in their countries», he added.
For his part, DAIA´s president, Jorge Knoblovits, agreed. «Hezbollah is Iran, it is the branch that makes attacks outside the Middle East. Iran is accused, its officials are accused. Hezbollah and Iran are exactly the same,» the head of the political arm of the Argentine Jewish community said.
According to official information, president Macri will lead the presentation of the book «Justicia Perseguirás» (You will seek justice), a publication in homage to the 25 years of the AMIA attack, on Thursday afternoon in an act in the Government House organized between the Secretariat of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism and the Latin American Jewish Congress.
In addition, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will land in Buenos Aires on Friday to preside over the «Second Hemispheric Ministerial Conference on Combating Terrorism,» which will be held at the San Martin Palace and in which foreign ministers and «counter-terrorism specialists» from Latin America will participate. The visit appears to be supporting Macri’s decision to join the initiative of the Donald Trump administration and the Israeli government to declare Hezbollah «terrorist». A meeting is also planned with the authorities of the Argentine Jewish community, where Pompeo will be one of the speakers along Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.
The Secretary of Human Rights, Claudio Avruj, confirmed that the Government will proceed with the creation of a register of people and entities linked to terrorism and its financing.
The central commemoration ceremony for the 25th anniversary of the AMIA attack is scheduled for Thursday, July 18, at 9:53 a.m., the exact time of the bomb explosion, in front of Pasteur 633, in the Once neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Under the slogan «85 lives uprooted. 25 years of impunity», the ceremony will feature the words of Eichbaum, director of the Hospital de Clínicas at the time of the attack Dr. Florentino Sanguinetti, and Sofia Guterman, mother of Andrea, one of the attack victims. The musicians Lito Vitale and Juan Carlos Baglietto will also participate. As a tradition, the ceremony will begin with the reading of the names of each of the people who lost their lives in the attack.
Almost in parallel, Memoria Activa will pay tribute to the victims in Plaza Lavalle under the slogan #25yearsofprovenimpunity. It is scheduled for 9.30 a.m. and will be attended by the head of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo Estela de Carlotto, Taty Almeida, member of Madres de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora, journalist Iván Schargrodsky, actress Alejandra Darín and singer Sandra Mihanovich.
Although the tributes will take place on Thursday, the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress (WJC), carried out a series of activities in Argentine embassies in different countries during the last days.
For its part, AMIA broadcasted an institutional video called «Birthday», where 26 young people who turn 25 years old on that date agree: «On July 18 I will turn 25. Impunity too».
A quarter of a century after the explosion of the Jewish mutual, justice could only determine that the attack was perpetrated with a Renault Trafic truck with approximately 400 kilos of explosives that were detonated in front of the building at 633 Pasteur Street. For this fact not a single sentence was issued and the Fiscal Investigation Unit (UFI) AMIA already admits that time plays against the investigation and punishment of those responsible.
In line with the investigation carried out by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the UFI-AMIA, currently in charge of prosecutor Sebastián Basso, ratifies that Hezbollah’s armed wing ordered the preparation and execution of the attack. The bombing was planned during a meeting in Mashad (Iran) in August 1993. According to the hypothesis of the investigation, the Lebanese Salman Salman would have been the organizer of the attack. So far, the international arrest warrant issued against Salman has been maintained, as well as against the Iranians Mohsen Rabbani, Ali Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Velayati, Hadi Soleimanpour, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rezai, Agmad Vahidi, Ahmad Reza Asghari and Imad Moughnieh (killed in an attack in 2008).
In the middle of these 25 years there was a failed trial against a group of Buenos Aires policemen, and another trial with a conviction for covering up the attack.
A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed with Iran, which was endorsed by the Argentine parliament but later declared unconstitutional by the judiciary. Precisely because of this political fact, prosecutor Nisman accused former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of an alleged «criminal» maneuver to try to guarantee the «impunity» of the Iranians accused of carrying out the bombing. He was found dead in his department of Puerto Madero the day before his presentation in Congress. Community organizations also expressed their disapproval of the signing of the agreement with Iran.