On July 18, 1994, the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, was bombed in what has been called the worst terrorist attack on Argentina in history. The bombing killed an estimated 86 people and wounded over 200. The Argentine government began a judicial investigation and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. Twenty years later, the case remains unresolved. The investigation has been marked by inefficiency and allegations of corruption. The recent, suspicious death of the lead prosecutor of the case has further called into question the legitimacy of Argentina’s government and justice system. This thesis examines the Argentine government’s response to the AMIA bombing in the context of Argentine politics. This thesis discusses Argentina’s democratic stability, political performance, history of corruption, and economic situation as key factors in understanding the government’s response to the AMIA attack and investigation. Argentina’s response does not fit within the established models of a democracy’s response to terrorism. Argentina’s response, or lack thereof, to this terrorist attack is perplexing, but this surprising outcome may be explained by the country’s political problems. The findings of this thesis support the conclusion that the Argentine government’s response to the AMIA case can be attributed to its functioning but flawed democracy and faulty political performance. Argentina has a history of political and police corruption and a weak judicial branch, which has hindered the effectiveness of the justice system and complicated the AMIA investigation. The extent to which these factors have allowed corruption and economic interests to derail the investigation is still debated and offers an area for future research.
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Wilson, Bruce M.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Crawford, Amy, "Democracy on Trial: Examining Argentina's Response to the 1994 Terrorist Attach on the Amia Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1700.