On March 17, 1992, the Israeli embassy in Argentina was attacked, in an act of terrorism that has gone down in history as one of the worst 20th century assaults against a Jewish site.
In total, 29 victims lost their lives that day, while 242 were injured, when a suicide bomber drove a bomb-laden truck smack into the embassy in Buenos Aires.
The attack also afflicted a neighboring Catholic church and school. Four Israelis lost their lives, as did Priest Juan Carlos Brumana, and many of the remaining victims were young children.
The car bombing demolished the Buenos Aires embassy. Iran has long been believed to be behind the bombing, as well as the deadly attack that would take place two years later at the AMIA Jewish community center in the same city. No perpetrators in either attack have been brought to justice.
Following the attack, a group called the Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility. IJO has ties to Iran and Hezbollah. In the aftermath, Israel sent its own team of investigators to the site to gather evidence, but no suspect has ever been prosecuted for the killings, though several Iranian nationals remain on Interpol’s wanted list for the crime.
Today, the embassy has been rebuilt, and a memorial at the attack site has been put in place, as have 21 trees and seven benches representing victims of the bombing. A plaque also exists listing the names of the victims in both Hebrew and Spanish.
Just this week, the Buenos Aires government launched an interactive city map, which marks the bomb site with a special memorial icon reading, “Here there was life.”
“The campaign is centered on lives, lives that were happening here, at the Israel Embassy, 22 years ago. That is why we remember the place where they were killed, we commemorate these people with individual spots such as the one for David Ben Rafael, with a photograph of his kids two days before the bomb,” said Javier Basevich, CEO of BasevichCrea, which helped produce the project.