Nº 5/05


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its satisfaction at the acknowledgment by the Government of the Argentine Republic, in an audience held today, March 4, 2005, of liability in the case of the attack carried out on the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association building (AMIA).


          The Commission is currently processing petition No. 12.204 filed on June 16, 1999, concerning the attack that occurred in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994.   Over 80 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in that attack.  The survivors and their relatives, represented in the instant case by Memoria Activa,  the Legal and Social Studies Center (CELS), and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), have sought justice in this case, first under domestic law and then in the inter-American human rights system.


          In today’s audience, the representative of President Néstor Kirchner’s government acknowledged the State’s liability for violations of the rights to life, humane treatment, a fair trial, and judicial protection enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights, which Argentina ratified in 1984. The State admitted that it had not complied with its obligation to observe and guarantee the rights upheld in the aforementioned Convention and specifically acknowledged “noncompliance with its duty to prevent [such an attack], in that it had failed to take appropriate and effective steps to try and avoid the attack, bearing in mind that two years earlier terrorists had attacked the embassy of Israel in Argentina.”    Furthermore, the State “admits liability because the facts were concealed and there was a grave and deliberate failure to comply with the duty to investigate the unlawful act…, which resulted in justice clearly being denied.”


The representatives of the Government asked Memoria Activa and the relatives of the victims for forgiveness.  On that basis, the Government offered, and the petitioners accepted, to enter into a dialogue in the framework of a friendly settlement before the IACHR, that would include “elements and actions geared to the quest for truth, justice, and reparation.”  The Government stressed the need for this attack to be the subject of a “full, clear, and transparent” investigation.”


          The IACHR welcomes today’s acknowledgment by the Argentina State and reaffirms its readiness to assist the parties in talks aimed at a friendly settlement of the AMIA petition.


Washington, D.C., March 4, 2005