(July 18, 2019 / JNS) Argentina ordered the freezing of Hezbollah assets on Thursday, effectively designating it as a terrorist entity, being the first Latin America country to do so.
The move occurred on the 25th anniversary the bombing of the AMIA community center in Buenos Aires. Hezbollah member Ibrahim Hussein Berro was identified as the AMIA bomber, killing the 85 people and injuring hundreds.
Additionally, a Politico bombshell in December 2017 exposed the network of money-laundering and other crimes done by Hezbollah, including operations in Latin America, for which the Obama administration let pass in order to reach the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“Argentina took a very important step today,” Emanuele Ottolenghi, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS. “By designating Hezbollah [as such], it showed leadership in the fight against terrorism and terror finance.”
“Now others must follow Argentina and show they are ready to tackle this threat,” he added. “Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America is well-documented, and this is a welcome change in a part of the world where governments, including Argentina’s neighbors, have for too long looked the other way.”