BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentine Jewish officials have asked the mayor of Buenos Aires to stay the appointment of the city’s new police chief, who is being investigated in the AMIA Jewish center attack.
Jorge Alberto Palacios on July 2 was named by Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri to lead the new Metropolitan Police. Palacios is being probed for his participation in concealing evidence in the July 1994 bombing, , which killed 85 and wounded 300.
Leaders of the AMIA central Jewish institution and DAIA Jewish political umbrella in a meeting Monday asked Macri to hold off on the appointment until the court determines Palacios’ innocence or guilt.
“To appoint someone like Palacios as the first chief of the new Metropolitan Police shows not only a lack of respect to the memory of the victims of the AMIA bombing, but also sends a message of impunity for the members of the force," said Sergio Widder, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director of Latin American affairs. "They are basically being told that going against the rule of law and proper procedures can be a passport to leadership in the force.”
Palacios had been fired fom the federal police by former President Nestor Kirchner after being linked in the investigation of Axel Blumberg’s kidnapping, a teenager murdered on 2004. He was acquitted.
Macri met Palacios in 1991 when the mayor was a kidnapping victim and Palacios handled the rescue operation.
The new metropolitan city force will be independent, according to reports. Federal police now guard Buenos Aires.