Director Behind Explosive Documentary on AMIA Bombing Says 22 Years Later ‘Basic Facts Are Still Unknown’ (INTERVIEW)
As Argentina marks on Monday the 22nd anniversary of the AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires, many questions surrounding the attack still remain unanswered, the director behind an explosive investigative documentary about the event told The Algemeiner on Monday.
Matthew Taylor — whose film Los Abandonados takes a hard look at the government’s inadequate response to the attack and the seemingly related death of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman — said, “22 years later, basic facts are still unknown. Where was the truck carrying the bomb that blew up AMIA obtained? Where was the bomb itself built? We still don’t know these things.”
In 1994, 85 people were killed and over 300 injured when the AMIA Jewish Center was reduced to rubble in the car bombing. The attack, suspected to have been carried out by Iran, has been called the worst in Argentina’s history.
The bombing made headlines again last year when Nisman, the special prosecutor investigating the attack, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his home shortly before he was set to appear before a congressional committee to present newly discovered evidence implicating then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman in covering up Iran’s involvement in the bombing.
According to Taylor, while the investigation itself was virtually stalled under Kirchner’s government, Argentina’s new president, who was elected late last year, may prove to be the key to finally solving what really happened 22 years ago.
“I think the changing of the guard, from the Kirchner administration to Mauricio Macri’s administration, is a really huge move in the right direction towards finally solving this case,” he said. “Macri winning has changed the entire game.”
Macri already appeared to be taking steps towards investigating Iran’s connection to the bombing when, upon his election in December, the president dropped a memorandum of understanding (MOU) passed by the Kirchner government with Iran.
“I think with the MOU Kirchner proposed and her shift in foreign policy, there would have never been justice for AMIA or Nisman. For Kirchner and her cronies to have the deal they wanted under the MOU, the AMIA investigation would have to be inert. They couldn’t have both,” Taylor said.
While it remains to be seen whether Macri’s government will actively pursue a third official investigation into the AMIA attack and Nisman’s death, according to Taylor, “Some very difficult accusations will have to be made against some very dangerous people who are willing to blow up people and shoot people in the head in their own apartments. There is an obvious reluctance to accuse people who are willing to execute you.”
Although the AMIA bombing and Nisman’s murder continue to garner international attention, the people of Argentina appear to have become more desensitized to their government’s scandalous behavior.
“You have a country that has been so jerked around in all directions, where corruption and things we see as shocking are not shocking there. Corruption in Argentina is business as usual,” Taylor told The Algemeiner. “Here in the US, we throw out corrupt politicians and want to make things right. In Argentina, the population doesn’t view this the same way we do.”
On Monday, Macri and senior members of his cabinet attended a commemoration ceremony marking the AMIA bombing. It was the first time in five years that an Argentine head of state attended the annual ceremony.
“I think Macri being elected…indicated that people wanted a change…and I think, at this point, they also want justice,” Taylor concluded.