Argentina ‘failed to prevent’ AMIA bombing, Inter-American Court rules

The human rights organization added that the state also failed to investigate the attack ‘with due diligence and within a reasonable time frame’

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights said Friday that Argentina is responsible for “failing to prevent” the AMIA bombing. The state also failed in its “duty to investigate the attack and the ensuing coverup with due diligence and within a reasonable time frame,” the court added.

The July 1994 bombing of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killed 85 people and injured over 300. The case went unpunished after corruption and a cover-up attempt bested the investigation into who the perpetrators were.

The court’s statements were included in its ruling on a case that Memoria Activa, a civil association made up of AMIA victims’ friends and family members, filed against the Argentine state. 

Memoria Activa celebrated the ruling with a statement on X. “30 years after the AMIA attack, we finally got a reparatory sentence,” the group wrote. “The ruling shows that justice exists, even if it is in short supply, and that our unequal struggle has not been in vain, allowing us to reduce at least a bit of impunity.”

Regarding Argentina’s failure to prevent the attack, the court pointed to the 1992 attack against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires as evidence that the government should have been on high alert. “The obligation to guarantee personal integrity also presupposes the state’s duty to prevent violations of said right,” the text reads.  

The court stated that the country fell short of its duties to investigate not once but twice, referencing the attack and the ensuing maneuvers to cover it up. “Almost 30 years later, there is still no clarity about what happened, who was responsible, or why the state used its judiciary apparatus to cover it up and obstruct the investigation,” the judges stated.

“The court finds that the state is responsible for the violation of the right to judicial guarantees, an impartial judge, a reasonable deadline, and judicial protection.”

The court also pointed out that the state was responsible for violating the right to information as well as the “right to know the truth.” It sentenced the Argentine state to take “all legislative and administrative steps necessary” to ensure that victims’ families and representatives are given full access to all declassified information related to the attack and the cover-up. 

The AMIA attack

A bomb destroyed the main building of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring over 300. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the attack. 

Corruption and cover-up attempts have hampered the investigation into the AMIA bombing, the deadliest terrorist attack in the Western Hemisphere until the September 11 attacks. The case has become a divisive political issue in Argentina. 

The judiciary has previously investigated allegations that the Iranian government orchestrated the attack and that the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, which Argentina declared a terrorist organization in 2019, was in charge of carrying it out. However, this has never been conclusively proven.

In April, an Argentine high court confirmed convictions for a slew of former judiciary members and government officials involved in a cover-up of the attack.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald