Buenos Aires Times

argentina Argentina's Jewish political umbrella

DAIA board chief urges full leadership renewal in wake of sex abuse allegations

Former DAIA president Ariel Cohen Sabban was forced to resign last week following actress Esmeralda Mitre’s allegations that he fondled her and tried to kiss her.

Wednesday 9 May, 2018
DAIA president Alberto Indij and his predecessor Ariel Cohen Sabban.
DAIA president Alberto Indij and his predecessor Ariel Cohen Sabban. Foto:DAIA

The head of the board of Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, the DAIA, has called for the full resignation of the entity’s leadership following a sex abuse scandal that culminated in the ousting of former president Ariel Cohen Sabban.

“We trust that the time has come for renewal”, Diego Dlugovitzky, said in a letter addressed to the DAIA’s new president Alberto Indij.

He said the current leadership team “lacks the legitimacy and representation to continue at the helm of the DAIA”.

Cohen Sabban was forced to resign last week following actress Esmeralda Mitre’s allegations that he fondled her and tried to kiss her.

“He touched my chest and wanted to give me a kiss”, Esmeralda Mitre told Jorge Lanata’s radio programme Lanata sin Filtro. Mitre had met with the DAIA leadership at their headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires before a subsequent meeting in her home.

The DAIA requested Cohen Sabann’s resignation last Saturday evening following the airing of the scandal in the media and online. 

‘NOT THAT MANY’

Mitre met with Cohen Sabban and his colleagues last week to apologise to the DAIA for recent comments in which she questioned the number of Holocaust victims. Initially, the actress refused to give details about the subsequent meeting in her home where the former DAIA chief is alleged to have assaulted her.

In April, Mitre claimed in an interview with news portal Infobae that local human rights groups had inflated the number of people disappeared during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship for political and financial reasons. She alleged that like the dictatorship, the number of victims of the Holocaust “was not that many”.

Mitre’s comments sparked outrage and she was summoned to speak with the DAIA’s leadership.

“I told them I was sorry and asked for forgiveness, that I was willing to go further than just retract my statements”, she said.

“I was in a position of vulnerability like never before in my life”, she added.

Mitre also alleges that Cohen Sabban wanted her to fund a trip, including travel for the DAIA leadership and a press junket, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

– TIMES

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