Four years on: Fresh calls for justice for Alberto Nisman and the AMIA bombing

Alberto Nisman. Photo courtesy of Twitter @SherSpooner

This Friday, January 18, Israeli and Argentine authorities paid tribute to the lawyer who was investigating the AMIA bombing, on the fourth anniversary of his death.

The tribute for Alberto Nisman took place in the “Israeli-Argentine Friendship Park” in the Ben Shemen forest, Israel, reported Clarin. The president of the Israeli parliament, Yuli Edelstein, planted an olive tree next to a commemorative plaque and recited an oration in Hebrew.

Our Ambassador Mariano Caucino took part in the tribute to Alberto Nisman In Israel together with the president of the Israeli parliament, authorities from the AMIA and the lawyer’s mother. We are committed in the search for truth and justice. 

The event was organised by the National Jewish Fund and took place at the memorial which remembers the victims of the AMIA attack and the attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Hundreds of people attended, many from the Argentine community residing in Israel.

“Today we pay tribute to an Argentine justice official, a lawyer of the nation, Doctor Natalio Alberto Nisman, who was in charge of investigating one of the cruelest acts of terrorism Argentina has ever suffered,” said Argentina’s Ambassador to Israel, Mariano Caucino. “[It was] an unforgivable crime against humanity, against Argentina and against the Jewish community.”

“Solving this crime and punishing those responsible is an undeniable priority of the Argentine government and people,” he added, explaining that Nisman’s death “has become a new wound, which can only be sealed with the definitive discovery of the truth.”

Nisman’s mother was also present at the tribute, and gave a short but emotional speech where she explained that she “needed this tribute to, in some way, carry on living.”

The Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) was bombed in 1994, killing 85 people and leaving 300 wounded, and remains one of Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attacks. Even now, over 20 years later, the perpetrators have never been found.

Nisman was put in charge of investigating the AMIA bombing, reported Perfil, which led him to question the role of then-president Cristina Kirchner and the former Minister of International Relations, Héctor Timerman. He suspected that Kirchner’s 2013 signing of a memorandum of understanding with Iran for a joint investigation of the AMIA had the ulterior motive of disassociating Iran with the AMIA bombing, “negotiating a plan of impunity and covering the Iranian fugitives accused of the demolition of the Jewish mutual society.” The memorandum re-established diplomatic relations between the countries and therefore allowed them to create a deal where they exchanged petrol for grain.

However, Nisman worked in secret for two years to build up evidence of this claim before, accusing Kirchner, Timerman, MP Andrés Larroque, piquetero Luis D’Elía and Quebracho activist Andrés Esteche of concealing the truth on January 14, 2015.

Four days later, the lawyer was found dead in his apartment bathroom at midnight , January 18, just hours before he was supposed to stand before Congress and give more details of his accusation. There has still been no conclusive evidence found as to why he died, although investigators at the time labelled it a homicide.

In March last year, Kirchner was called to trial by Judge Claudio Bonadio for covering up Iran’s role in the AMIA bombing, but it did not progress any further. In July, the case was reopened and inquiries made, but no progress has been made in the case so far.

The fourth anniversary of Nisman’s death is a reminder to the international community of the pain of terrorist attacks, and a call for Argentine authorities to restart investigations into the case so that it can finally be solved.

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