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Argentines Rally for Justice in Unsolved Jewish Center Bombing Case - 2002-07-19


Thursday marked eight years since a truck bomb killed 85 people outside a Jewish community center in Argentina. Thousands of Argentines held a rally in Buenos Aires, calling for justice in a case that has very few clues.

The mourners filled four blocks in downtown Buenos Aires. They carried signs that said they would never forget, but they let the voices do most of the talking.

A handful of speakers on the podium spoke for the crowd, demanding justice, eight years after a truck bombing at headquarters of AMIA, Argentina's largest Jewish Community Center. It was the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history.

But the thousands rallying at AMIA, people like Ana Maria Krzyewski, did not bring much hope that the killers would be brought to justice. "I worked in AMIA on diez y ocho de Julio - July 18, and I am working now," she said.

July 18 is Ms. Krzyewski's "September 11". It is the day she survived,but her 21-year-old daughter was killed. " am …. without hope," she said.

One thing that makes July 18 different from September 11, she said, is her country's government does not seem to want to find the people responsible.

The AMIA case went to trial last year without any prime suspects. All investigators say they have determined is that the truck that was used in the bombing was stolen.

At the rally, speakers accused investigators of ignoring evidence that international terrorist groups were involved.

They also accused President Eduardo Duhalde and former President Carlos Menem of being involved in a cover-up.

In Mr. Menem's last visit to the United States, one speaker said, he showed more sympathy for American victims of terror than victims in his own country.

There was some hope, another speaker said, that after September 11, the world would want investigators to look harder to see who was behind the AMIA attack.

But on Thursday, the feeling was, most people are looking away. The thousands who came to remember swore they would not.

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