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Swine flu forces cancellation of AMIA tribute

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BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — The swine flu outbreak in Argentina has forced the cancellation of the anniversary tribute to the victims of the AMIA Jewish center attack in Buenos Aires.

For the first time since the July 1994 bombing, a major demonstration will not be held on the anniversary in front of the JCC, which has been rebuilt. Saturday marks 15 years since the attack, which killed 85 and wounded 300.

Victims’ relatives groups and Jewish central institutions canceled the tribute as Argentina is being struck by the H1N1 virus, with 137 deaths reported in the country. Rally organizers said it was a difficult decision but an act of responsibility.

Instead of the usual thousands who usually come to pay tribute and seek justice — no one has been brought to trial in the bombing — a six-minute message with the victims’ names will be heard at the moment of the bombing.

The 15th anniversay comes as Jewish community leaders and the victims’ relatives are voicing their anger at the recent choice of Jorge “Fino” Palacios as the chief of the new Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police. Palacios is being probed for his participation in concealing evidence in the AMIA bombing.

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