Monday, January 19, 2015

Troubling News Out of Argentina

In 1994 a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed and 85 people were killed. Subsequent investigation over the years pointed to the involvement of the Iranian government. Now, just as a prosecutor assigned to the case finishes his report and accuses the current president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of making a deal with the Iranians to whitewash their involvement, he is found dead in his apartment.

During the 1970s-80s, Argentina was involved in the so-called "dirty war" (guerra sucia) in which security forces and right-wing militias kidnapped and murdered tens of thousands of people in a war against left-wing guerrillas. There were stories of people being locked in shipping containers and dumped into the Plate River. They were rumors of human parrilladas (grills).

Argentina has a difficult history. When I was there in 1985, it was only one week after Argentina celebrated the ascendance of Raul Alfonsin as a freely-elected president. It was a time of great optimism.

The 1994 attack that killed so many people must be fully and honestly investigated. Oil deals and diplomatic concerns should not get in the way. This latest news must be not only investigated but followed by the rest of the world.

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