On October 13-14, the final hearing was held in Montevideo, Uruguay in the case filed by CELS and Memoria Activa in 1999 charging the Argentine State with international responsibility for the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires as well as for its lack of clarification, truth, and justice in the case.
The hearing – the final stage in this international lawsuit – was itself reparative because it gave the victims, members of Memoria Activa, the chance to express their demands to the Argentine State in the Court.
On the final day, Paula Litvachky, executive director of CELS, made her final plea in representation of Memoria Activa. “This hearing has made it abundantly clear that the State was incapable of revealing the truth on its own. Worse still, the Argentine State, both through its actions and its neglect, deprived us all of the historical truth,” she said. And she sustained, “Nearly 30 years later, with a ruined investigation that has been hard to get back on track, the dimension of the individual right to know and the collective right to the truth have only gained strength. It is what we can still do. It is ethical and politically incumbent.”
On its part, the representation for the Argentine government at the hearing recognized its responsibility in “covering up the truth and the political manipulation of the case” surrounding the attack on the AMIA on July 18, 1994, in which 85 people died. “We have come to this hearing to express our sincere acknowledgement: it extends to all human rights violations,” they said before the Court.
In his final remarks, Ricardo Pérez Manrique, President of the Inter-American Court, called on the Argentine State not to wait for the Court’s ruling to begin producing concrete facts to reverse the status of the investigation.
In this sense, during the hearing we sustained that the Argentine State must demonstrate political will and ensure an independent prosecution unit with sufficient resources and appropriate staff to collaborate on the investigations, coordinate requests, and design a strategy to memorialize, create an archive and implement an active policy of document declassification and management. Following these hearings and the final recommendation, the Inter-American Court’s ruling will be the tool to demand that this be fulfilled so that truth and justice may be done.