By Suzi Brozman
Twenty years ago a car bomb killed 85 people and injured over 200 at AMIA, Argentina’s largest Jewish center. Rumors of government involvement and of Iranian responsibility have since swirled through South America’s largest Jewish community.
Special prosecutor Alberto Nisman implicated current President Cristina Fernandez in a cover-up of the Iranian role, and he was due to reveal his evidence and findings at a hearing Jan. 19. Instead, the day before, he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his apartment with a gun at his side.
His death was ruled suicide, but Fernandez quickly said that was not the case and hinted at unnamed operatives using Nisman by feeding him false information, then killing him once he played his part.
A team of investigators is looking into Nisman’s death.
Damian Pachter, the journalist who first reported the details of Nisman’s death, fled Argentina for Israel within days of the death after, he said, facing government intimidation.
Nisman is rumored to have emailed his evidence and allegations to others, including three friends and the country’s former chief of counterintelligence.
“This is a part of the unfortunate history of Argentina,” Congregation Or Hadash Rabbi Analia Bortz said. “In general, it’s hate of the Jews. It is happening again. It is very sad but not surprising.”
Rabbi Bortz and her husband, Rabbi Mario Karpuj, who lived in Buenos Aires at the time of the AMIA bombing, talk about the atmosphere in Argentina here.