Senior Argentine officials pay homage at the 25th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish Centre terrorist attack

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Argentina’s Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña and other senior government officials participated this morning in a commemorative act to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) Jewish centre, in Buenos Aires, which resulted in 85 deaths and hundreds of wounded.

As part of the tribute to this the most brutal terrorist attack in the country’s history, President Mauricio Macri will at 6.00 pm local time today host a special event at the Casa Rosada Museum for 300 guests. He will be presented with a copy of the book Justicia Perseguirás (“Justice you shall pursue”) which contains important contributions by world leaders, including President Macri himself, who wrote the prologue.

Other contributors include US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, and UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet.

It will be the first time in 25 years that a tribute to the victims of the AMIA bombing will take place in the Government House.

Edited by the Latin American Jewish Congress, Justicia Perseguirás is a compilation of reflections by world leaders on the attack that took place on 18th July 1994.

In its prologue, President Macri writes that “Argentines have many wounds we need to heal,” one of which “derives from a pending debt we have as a society for far too long”.

“Our democracy has an outstanding debt with respect to impunity” that needs to be resolved; “recognizing this situation is a necessary condition so that we can redouble efforts in the search for justice.”

As has been the case every year since the attack, the homage to the victims this morning was held in front of the AMIA headquarters in the Balvanera neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

As well as Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, the following ministers were in attendance: Minister of Health & Social Development Carolina Stanley, Education Minister Alejandro Finocchiaro, Justice & Human Rights Minister Germán Garavano, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne, and Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.

Also present were provisional President of the Senate Federico Pinedo, Secretary of Culture Pablo Avelluto, Secretary of Environment Sergio Bergman, and Secretary of Human Rights & Cultural Pluralism Claudio Avruj.

Prior to the event, officials took part in a breakfast with authorities from the AMIA, including its President Ariel Eichbaum and from the DAIA, the umbrella organization of Argentina's Jewish community, including its President Jorge Knoblovits.

The act began with a siren call at 9.53 am, the exact time of the 1994 attack, under the slogan “85 vidas arrancadas, 25 años de impunidad” (85 lives uprooted, 25 years of impunity). Speakers included AMIA’s Ariel Eichbaum; journalist and broadcaster Fernando Bravo; Florentino Sanguinetti, the director at the time of the Hospital de Clínicas, which received over a hundred victims of the attack; and Sofia Guterman, mother of Andrea who died in the attack. During the ceremony, the names of the victims who lost their lives were read out loud.  

Yesterday, the Argentine government issued three decrees related to the 25th anniversary of the attack.

The decrees enable the establishment of a period of 180 days to qualify for compensation provided by Law 27,139; the creation of a Public Registry of People and Entities linked to acts of Terrorism and its Financing (REPET); and the establishment of 18 July as a National Day of Mourning.


Senior Argentine officials pay homage at the 25th anniversary of the AMIA Jewish Centre terrorist attack