Families Seek Justice on Anniversary of Argentina Jewish Center Bombing

argentina bombing
Firefighters and rescue workers search through the rubble of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center after a car bomb destroyed the building, on July 18, 1994. (AP Photo/Alejandro Pagni)

Families of the victims of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded on Sunday renewed their demands for justice as they marked the 27th anniversary of the attack.

Argentina’s 300,000-strong Jewish community – the largest in South America – is angry that no one has ever been convicted over the bombing.

Argentina President Alberto Fernandez paid tribute to the family members who “remain strong in their demand for truth and justice.”

“In memory of every one of [the victims] and in honor of those that lost their loved ones, we must unite against impunity,” he wrote.

The bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA), a community center in Buenos Aires, remains the deadliest terror strike in the country’s history.

The initial investigation was botched and tainted by allegations of corruption.

In 2006, prosecutor Alberto Nisman took over the investigation and soon accused then-President Cristina Kirchner – now Fernandez’s vice president – of a cover-up.

He accused Iran of ordering the attack via the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, but his efforts to prosecute five Iranian officials, including former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were cut short when Kirchner’s administration signed a deal with Iran to set up a Tehran-based joint commission to investigate the attacks.

Iran has never allowed its officials to be interviewed, although the country’s Parliament also rejected the Kirchner deal.

Nisman accused Kirchner of trying to arrange the deal in exchange for oil and trade benefits, basing his accusations on hundreds of hours of wiretaps.

But just before he was due to present his findings to Congress in January 2015, Nisman died at his home in mysterious circumstances.

Kirchner is nonetheless under investigation, accused of covering up the bombing and treason.

On Friday she asked that the case be dropped, calling it a “political scandal” and claiming that it was being used as “an instrument of persecution of the political opponents of the Mauricio Macri government” that followed hers.