Inter-American Court blames Argentina for failing to prevent and investigate attack against AMIA

Inter-American Court blames Argentina for failing to prevent and investigate attack against AMIA
Inter-American Court blames Argentina for failing to prevent and investigate attack against AMIA

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) considered this Friday that Argentina is responsible for failures in the prevention and investigation of the attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in 1994 in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead.

“Argentina (is) responsible for not having adopted reasonable measures to prevent the attack” and “not having fulfilled its duty to investigate with due diligence and within a reasonable period of time the attack and its cover-up,” the ruling of the Inter-American Court stated. , based in San José.

On July 18, 1994, a truck bomb blew up the AMIA headquarters building in the Argentine capital, and in addition to the dead, there were more than 300 injured, in an attack that has gone unpunished to this day.

The Argentine State “was aware of a situation of real and immediate risk regarding the sites identified with the Jewish community and did not adopt reasonable measures to avoid said risk,” according to the resolution of the Inter-American Court, read by its president, Nancy Hernández.

“Almost 30 years after the attack, there is still no clarity about what happened, those responsible, or the reasons why the State used its judicial apparatus to cover up and hinder the investigation,” the ruling added.

“He is responsible for the violation of the rights to life and personal integrity to the detriment of the victims of the attack,” the continental court stated.

– Real risk –

Argentina “violated its obligation of prevention,” the sentence mentioned, since there were previous situations “that drew attention to the custody of the AMIA,” such as the attack perpetrated in 1992 against the Israeli embassy, ​​which left 29 dead.

“Terrorism is a phenomenon that endangers the rights and freedoms of people and the American Convention obliges the States Parties to adopt those measures that are appropriate, necessary and proportional to prevent these types of acts,” the court said.

Argentina has accused former Iranian leaders of the attack, but has never managed to put them in the dock. It is also suspected that they had a powerful local connection, which has not yet been identified.

In April 2024, the Argentine justice system determined that the attacks on the Israeli embassy and the AMIA were ordered by Iran and days later the government requested the international arrest of that country’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, one of those identified by the attack, an order that was described as “illegal” by the Iranian government.

– “Cover-up” –

The Inter-American Court also alleged that “irregularities” occurred on the part of the State in the initial judicial process.

“It was proven that state agents (…) acted in an articulate manner with the purpose of constructing an accusatory hypothesis without factual support, which favored the cover-up of those truly responsible,” he added.

In 2015, an investigation by the AMIA Investigation Fiscal Unit began to review the initial process and determined in 2019 a “cover-up” by Argentina that led to light sentences for judicial officials and the government of former President Carlos Menem (1989-99), but without determining the reason for the concealment.

The cover-up consisted of paying the alleged seller of the truck bomb, Carlos Telleldín, about $400,000 to falsely accuse a group of police officers while the release of the first defendants was ordered.

Another cover-up case was opened in 2017 against former president Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015), for promoting an agreement with Iran in Congress to try Iranians in a neutral country. The agreement was never fulfilled, Kirchner was dismissed in 2021 and the case was reopened in 2023.

– Harm to family members –

The ruling also noted that Argentina “violated the right to mental and moral integrity to the detriment of the victims’ families.”

From the attack until the beginning of the investigation, the State did not allow access to the information collected about the event and the intelligence agencies classified the files as “secret.”

“The failures of the State in its duty to investigate, the unjustified delays in the process and, in general, the lack of clarification and the situation of impunity, have caused feelings of anguish, sadness and frustration in the families of the victims,” ​​said the court.

The Court ordered Argentina to remove the “de facto obstacles” that keep the case “in total impunity” as its main reparation measures; reopen investigations to “individualize, prosecute and punish” those responsible; and establish the truth of what happened.

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AFP

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