Argentine far-left leader jailed for disrupting Jewish community rally

Fernando Esteche, the leader of the Argentine far-left group Quebracho, has been haded a 4.5 year jail sentence for threatening a 2006 rally held by the Jewish community outside Iran's Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Fernando Esteche (c)Esteche was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to charges of intimidation and violence.

Local Jewish groups said their rally was “against terrorism and in favor of peace.” The Quebracho group held a counter-demonstration supporting Hezbollah and decrying the actions of Israel. Esteche said he was protesting Israel’s “massacre against the Palestinians.” After being threatened by “sticks and insults,” the Jewish demonstrators were forced to leave the site of their August 2006 rally. The day of the rally, Esteche told the Argentine media that “we come here to repel the fanatics and to prevent the same type of aggression and arrogance that they carry in the Middle East and they want to do here with fundamentalist youth in Argentina.”

Esteche, who serves on the faculty at the National University of La Plata’s journalism school, has spoken publicly against Israel in demonstrations and in the media. He was sentenced in a summary trial of two criminal cases involving protests and intimidation: the counter-demonstration at the Iranian Embassy and another against the International Monetary Fund in 2004.

The Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA expressed satisfaction with the sentence.



 

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