Still No Justice After 25 Years

A quarter of a century after a bomb attack, Argentina’s Jewish community is still searching for justice. No one has yet been convicted of carrying out the attack in Buenos Aires 25 years ago. It was a huge car bomb that killed 85 people and wounded another 300, making it the worst atrocity committed against Jews since the Holocaust.

That bombing is Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack to date, and it seems that the country was targeted due to being home to the largest Jewish population in Latin America; still numbering around 180,500 in 2017, making it the fifth largest in the world outside of Israel.

Thus it was that Argentina held an official ceremony today, in memory of the victims, and sirens rang out around the country at 9:53 a.m. the time that the bomb ripped through the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires.

Today Argentina also designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, blaming the bombing on the Lebanese group, which is backed by Iran. Authorities in Argentina ordered the freezing of assets associated with Hezbollah and its members, a move that a government source says automatically includes it on the country’s new terror blacklist.

Yet, as so often in the case of a tragedy, some remarkable stories have emerged. One of them is that of the courageous attempts to rescue important archive materials from the severely damaged building. Once the search for survivors was over, there was a major effort to recover materials that had survived the Holocaust and were considered extremely valuable to the worldwide Jewish community.