President Alberto Fernández said Thursday night that a man had been caught trying to shoot Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, calling it the “most catastrophic incident to happen since we reclaimed democracy.”
In the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires, a guy was caught on camera pointing a gun directly at the vice president’s head. The man reportedly had five bullets in the chamber and pressed the trigger, but the gun did not discharge, as reported by Fernández. At this time, 69-year-old Kirchner is safe under the protection of federal law enforcement. A probe of the incident is currently underway.
According to Argentina’s minister of security, a Brazilian man named Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel, 35, has been apprehended. A TV station shared a video to social media showing the incident, in which a click can be heard as the gun is pointed toward the vice president’s face.
We are amidst a crisis of unprecedented institutional and personal gravity. In a late-night national speech, Fernández declared, “Our vice president has been insulted.”
Kirchner, a populist leftist, served as president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015 and as first lady from 2003 to 2007. Dozens of people had gathered to show their support for the vice president, who is on trial for corruption, near her home when the event occurred.
Gregorio Dalbón, Kirchner’s lawyer, called the incident a “assassination attempt” on Twitter and urged a prompt response from the Argentine court system. The results of hatred and violence are always terrible.
After the attempted shooting, right-wing ex-president Mauricio Macri tweeted, “this tragic incident needs immediate and comprehensive clarification by the court system and security forces.”
There is currently no information to suggest whether the detained guy, Sabag Montiel, was represented by an attorney.
Allies of Kirchner’s in Argentina’s legislature propose to form a special committee to look into the incident.
For her suspected role in a corruption scheme involving public contracts, Kirchner, a contentious figure in Argentina’s political scene, faces up to 12 years in prison. She claims she is innocent and labels her trial as “political persecution.”
Kirchner ally and Buenos Aires province governor Axel Kicillof called the attempted attack “one of the saddest moments in our history” on Twitter.
Persecutors, instigators of violence, and even those who demand for the death sentence have been warned and told to desist immediately. You cannot advocate for such vile ideas as violence and hatred, he warned.
While Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was president of Brazil, Cristina Kirchner was president of Argentina. Lula da Silva tweeted his support for Kirchner, saying, “All my sympathy to my friend Cristina Kirchner, a victim of a fascist criminal who did not know how to appreciate differences and diversity.” Any democratic nation on Earth would be wise to look up to Cristina. God bless her, she made it out of there safely.
Tense relations between Brazil and Argentina have worsened under Fernández’s administration. President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil’s conservative Workers’ Party has referred to Kirchner and Fernández as “leftist outlaws,” and Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, has backed calls for penalties against Kirchner for alleged corruption made by Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. In this year’s presidential race, Da Silva is Bolsonaro’s opponent.
However, there is currently no proof that the attempted shooting was politically motivated. The president, Fernández, formally requested that the investigating judge assure the accused assailant’s protection while in detention.
Argentineans are paying interest rates of around 70% as the country struggles through one of the worst inflation crises in the world. Since the beginning of July, the country has gone through three different economy ministers.
A schism has developed between Kirchner and the president over handling the economic crisis. For his part, Kirchner has advocated for a guaranteed minimum income, while Fernández has staffed his administration with economic hawks.
Kirchner’s late husband, and Argentina’s presdient before her, Nestor Kirchner, led the country out of economic catastrophe. They established an economic movement marked by interventionist policies and rapid expansion, but her legacy is stained by allegations of corruption.
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