It was the most serious and cruel terrorist attack perpetrated against the Jewish community in Argentina, the most tragic one suffered nationally, and history considers it the largest attack directed at Jews after the Second World War.
An infamous attack that started a painful story
85 people died and more than 300 were injured, among workers of the Jewish mutual and passers-by, who at the time the car bomb was detonated, on July 18, 1994 at 09:53 hrs. AM, they passed through Pasteur street 633, in the Once neighborhood, where AMIA was located.
Material losses were also considerable in the block where the building that completely collapsed was erected: a two-meter crater, and in the vicinity of the Once neighborhood, undoubtedly one of the most populated during the day in the city from Buenos Aires and where the shock wave reached several kilometers around.
Shattered and caring hearts
During that tragic and painful day, and the following days, the Argentine citizens gave a show of enormous solidarity and communion in the face of the national misfortune suffered, approaching the place to offer their help, both in the rescue and in the search for bodies and survivors.
Police, firefighters, neighbors, doctors, and dogs specially trained for human tracking tasks, all united worked tirelessly until the last survivor could be rescued from the rubble.
An unpunished attack thanks to politics
The other side, equally harsh and tragic, has been that of impunity for the case, which for more than two decades has not yet been able to keep the ideologues in the bank of the accused, who are presumed to be the ideologists: the terrorist group Hezbollah, with the support of Iranian diplomats.
The history of the investigation of the case is a string of cover-ups that include police, judges, prosecutors, politicians and high-ranking officials, and intelligence services .
Two trials have even been carried out because of these cover-ups in which nothing more and nothing less than the first judge in the case, Juan José Galeano, and former President Carlos Menem were tried for cover-up.
It is incredible, but it was never possible to know for sure what the attack was like, how many people participated, or fully identify the local connection that is presumed to have taken place.
Prosecutor Nisman, the 86th dead of the AMIA
The last hope of progress died in January 2015 when prosecutor Alberto Nisman, head of the UFI AMIA special unit, which had been investigating the case since 2004, was found dead in his Puerto Madero department.
The journalistic and judicial investigations that were carried out after the shocking death of the prosecutor made it possible to presume to the justice that it was an assassination in order to silence him forever because he had denounced a pact of impunity between the Argentine government led by former President Cristina Kirchner and the Iranian government.
The memorandum agreed with Iran, the alleged cover-up for the attack, in 2013, initiated the new impunity pact that affected the case and marked Nisman’s death sentence.
According to the public prosecutor Nisman publicly denounced before his death, in a program on Argentine television , the Kirchner government changed impunity for money: it was agreed with Iran to lift the red Interpol circulars that affected Iranian officials accused of being the authors of the attack in exchange for trade agreements that would favor the cramped coffers of the Argentine treasury.
In 2018, new judges investigating Nisman’s death have determined that the prosecutor was killed for his work, while the AMIA case remains in the nebula awaiting justice.