Argentina in shock following failed attack on Cristina Kirchner

Argentina in shock following failed attack on Cristina Kirchner

Argentina's Vice President Cristina Kirchner escaped death on Thursday night when a man pointed a gun at her during a walkabout. Mrs. Kirchner escaped death because the weapon jammed.

Tens of thousands of Argentinians demonstrated on Friday in several cities of a country under the shock, to denounce the Thursday evening assassination attempt on Vice President Cristina Kirchner, which sparked a wave of international condemnation.

The day was declared a public holiday by President Alberto Fernandez who qualified the attack against the former head of state (from 2007 to 2015) as a fact of enormous gravity, the most serious since our country regained democracy in 1983.

Thursday evening shortly after 9 p.m., according to footage from multiple televisions, a man apparently acting alone pointed a handgun at Ms. Kirchner's head, just a few feet away, and appeared to pull the trigger without ;no shots were fired as she mingled with supporters outside her home in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

< p>“Cristina is alive, because for some reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, the weapon that contained five bullets did not fire despite having been triggered.

— Alberto Fernandez, President of Argentina

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The arrested man has been identified as Fernando André Sabag Montiel, 35, of Brazilian nationality, but with an Argentinian mother and Chilean father, according to quoted police sources by the official Telam news agency. Living in Argentina since 1993, he was arrested in March 2021 for carrying a knife.

A man, Mario, presenting himself as his friend since adolescence, described him on the Telefe channel as a mythomaniac, an outsider lost since the death of his mother, and whose life has often been influenced by alcohol. On his Instagram account, Fernando Sabag sports multiple changing looks, and many tattoos including a black sun, generally associated with Nazi groups.

Pope Francis

The assassination attempt was immediately condemned by all Latin American heads of state as well as by the Argentinian opposition.

< p class="e-p">Pope Francis, former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, sent a message of solidarity and closeness on Friday at this delicate moment when he said he prayed for social harmony and respect for democratic values ​​to prevail always.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was shocked by the assassination attempt which he condemns. The United States also strongly condemned, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken posting on Twitter that Washington stands with the government and people of Argentina in rejecting violence and hatred.

“We stand with the government and people of Argentina in rejecting violence and hatred,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on his Twitter account.

In Buenos Aires, the Plaza de Mayo facing the Presidency, the historic scene of Argentina's joys and angers, was Black Friday packed with crowds, as were several avenues leading to it, in what is the largest rally for many months in the capital, at the call of the ruling coalition Frente de Todos (center left) and affiliated movements.

If the tocan has Cristina, que quilombo sa va a armar! (If they touch Cristina, what a mess is getting ready!), fetish song, resounded to the sound of bass drums and firecrackers in the ranks, noisy and festive, supporters of Cristina Kirchner, at 69, an essential figure on the left argentina.

Argentina was in shock on Friday the day after an assassination attempt in Buenos Aires on the vice-president Cristina Kirchner.

In Santa Fe, Rosario, Cordoba, Tucuman and many other cities across the country, local media reported marches on Friday, calling on sectors progovernment.

I come above all to support democracy and Cristina, so that she knows that we are here. And to see if Argentines wake up, realize that we can't take that path, Adriana Spina, a 61-year-old retiree, told AFP in Buenos Aires.

The former president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (archives).

Adored by part of the Peronist left, but divisive personality hated by the opposition, Seven years after leaving the presidency, Cristina Kirchner remains an influential figure in the country's politics, one year from a presidential election for which she has not made her intentions known.

She is currently on trial for fraud and corruption, a trial partly in virtual mode, which she does not attend. On August 22, the prosecution requested a 12-year prison sentence and life ineligibility against her in this trial, which concerns the awarding of public contracts in her stronghold of Santa Cruz (south), during her two presidential mandates.

Since the indictment, every evening hundreds of supporters gather outside the home of the vice-president in a sign of support.

It was during one of these gatherings, rather calm on Thursday evening, that the attack took place, which for many Argentines in the street on Saturday, even regulars to the very strong polarization of their politics, marks a break.

There was already a certain level of verbal and symbolic violence, but now it has materialized. This is a turning point, sorry to AFP Diego Reynoso, political scientist at the University of San Andrés.

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