South America

Amia bomb probe ruled ‘unlawful’

By Isabel de Bertodano, May 22, 2014

An Argentine court has declared unconstitutional a controversial agreement between Buenos Aires and Tehran to investigate the Amia bombing.

Prosecutors in Argentina suspect that the 1994 attack on a Jewish community centre was ordered by Iran and now a federal court has found that the joint truth commission, set up at the beginning of 2013, is unlawful.


The Incas who sacrificed all for Judaism

By Jonathan Gilbert, January 12, 2014

Peru’s Jewish community mirrors many across the diaspora. It is urban, well-educated, middle-class and business-oriented. Most members are descendants of European Ashkenazim. But the South American nation is also home to a small number of devout so-called Inca Jews — native Indians from the Andean highlands who were converted by a disillusioned Catholic.


In Uruguay, city’s Sephardi past hidden from tourists

By Jonathan Gilbert, August 9, 2013

The small city of Colonia is a historical jewel, a World Heritage Site of cobbled alleys and crumbling 17th-century architecture.

But this magnet for tourists, a short boat ride from Buenos Aires, also has a rich, little-known Jewish past.


Gloom at pan-Latin America gathering

By Adam Feinstein, May 2, 2013

Ageing and emigration are two of the principal problems facing Sephardi communities in Latin America, according to the ninth National Conference of Sephardi Jews in Rio de Janeiro last week.

The congress was attended by representatives from Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.


Don’t mourn Hugo the wicked

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 19, 2013

Two years ago I caused a certain amount of controversy with my reaction to the death of a Palestinian activist. I was told it was not the done thing for a Jew to express pleasure at the death of another human. Well, we have just celebrated Purim, on which we are expected to make merry at the deaths of hundreds of Jew-baiters in ancient Persia.


In Moises Ville, the Yiddish cowboys make one last stand

By Jonathan Gilbert, February 28, 2013

Ariel Rosenthal appears a typical gaucho, the name given to Argentine cowboys who work the land and rear cattle in the country’s vast Pampas.

He wears bombachas, rugged, loose-fitting trousers; alpargatas, cotton shoes; and a boina, a beret-style cap.


US big guns row over Honduran ‘hate’ pope candidate

By Ray Filar, February 22, 2013

Harvard academic Alan Dershowitz has hit out at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over its support for an allegedly antisemitic candidate for next pope, saying he intends “to fight this all the way to Rome”.


Capriles pledges to keep fighting President Chavez

By Jonathan Gilbert, October 19, 2012

Henrique Capriles, the defeated candidate in last week’s Venezuelan presidential elections, has insisted he will continue his fight against socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.

Mr Capriles, the grandson of Jewish immigrants, will run for governor of Miranda, one of the South American country’s most important states, in December.


UK Ambassador to Chile apologises for Falklands tweet

By Anna Sheinman, October 17, 2012

Britain’s Ambassador to Chile Jon Benjamin has apologised for a tweet which suggested Argentinians lost the Falklands War because they are “cowards”.

His post, written in Spanish, referenced a lewd football chant sung by Chilean fans when their team plays Argentina. The chant translates as: “Argentines, gays, they took the Falklands off you because you are cowards.”


Extremist anti-Jewish group seeks legitimacy in Peru

By Jennifer Lipman, August 21, 2012

The leader of a fledgling neo-Nazi group in Peru has reportedly urged his country to rid itself of its Jewish population.

Martín Quispe Mayta, the founder of the Andean Peru National Socialism movement, has publicly denied the truth of the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and appears to subscribe to any number of antisemitic conspiracy theories.