Argentina’s vice president survives a point-blank assassination attempt
September 2, 2022
Sarah Nielsen contributed to today’s feature.
Last night, videos circulated online of a man with a gun at point-blank range of Argentine vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as she was returning to her home in Recoleta. The gun was allegedly loaded but failed to fire for reasons still unknown, reports El País. The shooter, a 35-year old Brazilian with an Argentine ID, was apprehended at the scene. He had a previous criminal record and alleged ties to Nazi organizations operating in the country, according to Ámbito. As La Nación writes, he had also appeared on Crónica TV twice in the past couple of weeks, expressing discontent at the country’s social programs and acceptance of foreigners into the country.
The attack occurred as Kirchner was surrounded by her supporters outside her home, protesting a request from a federal prosecutor to jail the vice president for 12 years for alleged corruption charges (see 8/23/22 LADB). Argentine President Alberto Fernández (no relation to Cristina) in a televised speech called the attack “the gravest episode of political violence since the return of democracy in our country” in the 1980s.
There were instant condemnations of the violence and messages of support without qualifiers from the opposition. Former president Mauricio Macri, Buenos Aires city mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, and former Buenos Aires province governor/current congresswoman Maria Eugenia Vidal all sent out unconditional messages that violence is not the answer. As CBS reports, international leaders were also quick to express their support for the vice president and condemnation of the attack, including the US Ambassador to Argentina, the Secretary General of the OAS, and various regional presidents such as Luis Arce, Gabriel Boric, and Pedro Castillo. Nicolás Maduro, Lula da Silva, and Evo Morales were also quick to repudiate the violence. As of this writing, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has yet to release a statement or express support.
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