“AMIA: Another Anniversary Without Justice” is presented in Spanish with English Subtitles
B’nai B’rith marks the 28th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires with a program titled “AMIA: Another Anniversary Without Justice,” advocating for the Argentine Congress to adopt the “trial in absentia” procedure so that the accused can be tried, even if they continue to refuse to cooperate with Argentine courts.
The bombing, which killed 85 and wounded more than 300, took place on July 18, 1994. Terrorists detonated a car bomb, killing and maiming those who worked at the AMIA (the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building, as well as those who were in the surrounding area, and destroying the structure that housed so many Jewish organizations in Buenos Aires. It was the deadliest terror attack ever in Argentina, and in Latin America.
“Given our longstanding presence in Argentina, B’nai B’rith followed the investigation of this heinous attack closely from the very beginning,” said B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin in an introduction. “A B’nai B’rith representative attended every hearing and followed every development.”
The 28-year endless chain of judicial inaction has led B’nai B’rith to its call for a trial in absentia.
Adriana Camisar, B’nai B’rith advisor on Latin American and U.N. affairs, said a condemnatory ruling from a trial in absentia would have important effects: It would facilitate the maintenance of Interpol warrants for the accused and strengthen extradition requests, and would also allow the families of the victims, the survivors and all of Argentinian society to know the truth behind who planned and executed the heinous attack.
B’nai B’rith Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn said the adoption of a trial in absentia procedure would also be important for Argentina’s security and help to prevent future terrorist attacks in Argentina, as terrorists often choose to target countries where criminal procedures are less severe.
Experts also joined the program to lend their insight in support of the trial in absentia procedure, including Elizabeth Odio Benito, former president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Vincenzo Carrozzino, an Italian jurist; Jorge Knoblovits, president of DAIA—Argentina’s Jewish umbrella organization; and Stuart Eizenstat, a diplomat and authority on international law.
The program also included a conversation with Franco Fiumara, an Argentine jurist, and Luis Czyzewski, a father of one of the bombing victims, who discussed his 28-year fight for justice and the option of a trial in absentia.
“The trial in absentia is not a trial that seeks a conviction, it is a trial that seeks the truth,” Czyzewski said.
Watch the full program on B’nai B’rith’s YouTube channel here.