Wiesenthal Center Signs Cooperation Accord with PARLATINO (Latin American Parliament)

December 9, 2006

Wiesenthal Center Signs Cooperation Accord with PARLATINO (Latin American Parliament): Center Officials Commend Terrorism Regional Framework Law in Process

Sao Paulo, 9 December, 2006

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is the only Jewish organization to sign a Cooperation Accord with the 22 member state PARLATINO headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This Accord defines the Center as a partner in policy making and the implementation of joint projects and activities in Latin America in specific areas of its competence.

At the signing ceremony, Dr. Shimon Samuels and Lic. Sergio Widder, Director for International Relations and Latin American Representative respectively - outlined to PARLATINO President, Ney Lopes (Brazil), the Center’s global campaign to characterize suicide terrorism as a 'crime against humanity,' noting the recent Motion of the Australian Parliament based upon the Center’s draft convention.

Lopes stressed “the honor for the PARLATINO of this Accord, especially aware of the history of the Jewish people and the Center’s efforts to combat racism and intolerance.”

Commissions Secretary Senator Sonia Escudero (Argentina), added the need “for research into the financing of terrorism and the eradication of the roots of hatred”.

Incoming President, Senator Jorge Pizarro Soto (Chile), welcomed the Center’s campaign, expressing his intention to promote a debate on suicide terrorism in the next session of the PARLATINO.

Also present were: Secretary General, Congressman Rafael Correa Flores (Venezuela); Alternate Secretary General, Congressman Juan Ramon Pez Ferro (Cuba) and Executive Secretary, Dr. Humberto Peláez Gutiérrez (Colombia).

Samuels and Widder then participated as Observers in the PARLATINO Annual Assembly.
The Center applauded the approval by the PARLATINO’s Commission on Civic Security, the Combat and Prevention of the Drug Trade, Terrorism and Organized Crime, of the Framework Law on Terrorism that, said Samuels, “goes far beyond any existing legal instrument enacted by an intergovernmental organization, expanding the jurisprudence against terror. Indeed," he added, “this reflects most of the major principles proposed by the Center at the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November 2005.”

Outstanding in the Framework Law is acknowledgement of the complicity of those who incite or induce others, in speech or writing, in public or private, to execute such crimes.

Likewise, the sanctioning of the misuse of digital telecommunications, electronic mail, and the Internet for purposes of terrorism.

In congratulating the Comission’s Chairperson, Congresswoman Paola Spatola (Argentina), Widder noted “the absence of reference to suicide terrorism in the document.” PARLATINO officials encouraged the Center to present documentation so that this insertion may be debated when the Framework Law comes up for ratification by the Governing Board and the Assembly in 2007.

The Center noted that the PARLATINO document was especially timely in view of the recent Argentine charges of Iranian complicity in the AMIA bombing.

The Center, which holds consultative status at the Organization of American States, will henceforth also work closely with the PARLATINO to combat incitement to hate, violence and terrorism throughout Latin America.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels on + 336 09770158 or Sergio Widder on + 54911 44251306.