BUENOS AIRES (Nov. 24)
Police in southern Argentina spent the weekend cordoning off roads in an attempt to prevent a clandestine gathering of neo- Nazis.
Security officials in the southern Argentine province of La Pampa went on high alert after large signs were posted hailing the “Nazi Summit of the Americas” and inviting locals to receive the “new Fuhrer.”
A local judge, Maria Garcia, initiated an investigation into who hung those signs as well as flags bearing swastikas. She then ordered area police to prevent the militants from meeting.
Authorities would not say which group called for the gathering.
But an official with the local branch of the Argentine Intelligence Secretariat said it suspected “an Argentine group with strong contacts with neo-Nazi organizations in Chile, Brazil and the United States.”
“Even Americans might be coming to the summit,” the intelligence source said.
Police also were apparently searching for neo-Nazis at isolated ranches. No arrests were reported.
The La Pampa office of DAIA, the Argentine Jewish umbrella organization, received “full guarantees” from the local government that the police “will prevent the meeting from taking place.”
Local DAIA officials said they were satisfied with the efforts to prevent a meeting.
An unidentified neo-Nazi militant said that “Erich Priebke’s grandson will address the summit,” local media reports said.
Priebke, now jailed in Italy, was deported from Argentina to stand trial for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 Romans. He was found guilty of taking part in the slayings, but was acquitted because of a 30-year statute of limitations.
He was immediately rearrested pending appeals and a German extradition request.
Italy’s highest appeals court last month nullified the controversial verdict and ordered a retrial.