An Explosion Killed Seven People And Destroyed A City, A Case That Plagued Carlos Menem Until His Death.
2021-02-16 | by CusiGO
The death of former president Carlos Menem left a sense of impunity in Rio trivo. On November 3, 1995, the Argentine town became a war postcard and spent its darkest chapter in the shadow of the former president. In the 1990s, the Menem Government illegally sold weapons and explosives to Ecuador and Croatia, and renovated a national military factory in a corner of Cordoba province, 700 km northwest of Buenos Aires. In the face of the coming international control, in order to make up for the shortage of war materials, the top management of military institutions blew up the bombs in the factory. The attack, which attempted to impersonate the accident, killed seven people and injured hundreds of others who were victims of bombs that landed in the city. The former president was summoned to the court on February 24 to deal with the case. Today, 25 years later, because he cannot be tried, a court case against responsibility has been closed.
On the morning of November 1995, the streets of Rio III turned gray. The first bomb that fell made everyone jump out of bed. It was the prelude to the fall of hundreds of explosives for the rest of the day, and the stage became desolate: thousands of people ran aimlessly under the mushroom clouds that covered the sky. The doors of the collapsed houses, the collapsed buildings, the square covered with shells and ashes, and the deafening noise made everyone drowsy.
No one knows what happened or how he should protect himself. Marcos Ferrer’s memory of a city of 45000 inhabitants completely deserted by a spontaneous exile triggered by fear is like a slow motion movie. “It’s a Dante stage,” he says of what happened when he was 13.
The first official version of the incident was the accident. However, the case has been submitted to the court. 20 years after the attack, four managers of the military factory were sentenced to more than 10 years’ imprisonment for “malicious damage aggravated by death”. In the 2014 trial, the court held that the explosion was “deliberate, planned and organized with the purpose of concealing illegally exported missing shells, ammunition and explosives”. But the city went beyond Menem to find the last person in charge.
Between 1991 and 1995, the former president of Argentina signed three secret decrees to sell weapons to Ecuador, which was at war with Peru, and to Croatia, which was at war with Serbia after the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Although Argentina is one of the guarantors of the peace treaty between the two South American countries, it has airlifted at least three military supplies to Ecuador in recent years. The judicial cases of smuggling weapons have gone through 20 years of ups and downs in court. The common situation is that there is no punishment. Menem was placed under house arrest for several months on the charges and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in 2013, but the sentence was never finalized. In 2018, he was finally acquitted because he had ordered a crime.
Last May, the case of illegal arms sales provided the basis for the court’s decision to try the former president on the events of 1995. However, the deadline for the epidemic has been extended and is expected to be tried in February this year. “Carlos Menem was a necessary participant in the Rio III bombings. Without the consent of power, such terrorist acts cannot happen, “said Mayor Ferrer, who announced after the death of the former president that the city would not participate in the three-day mourning event set up by President Alberto fern á ndez. For Ferrer, he has never been convicted of bombing, which shows the importance of politics to justice. “People related to power have different justice from ordinary citizens.”
The shocking charges did not stop Menem from continuing his political career. In 2003, he ran for president for the third time, but lost to Nestor Kirchner. Two years later, he won the Senate seat until his death on Sunday. Along with him, it is now possible to judge his role in the day’s explosion. Carlos gonella, the prosecutor in the case, expressed regret over whether Menem “ordered, agreed or accompanied” the explosion. “He’s the only one who needs to judge,” he said.