Argentina: failed gun attack on Cristina Kirchner

Argentina: Missed gun attack on Cristina Kirchner

UPDATE DAY

Argentina was in shock on Friday the day after an assassination attempt in Buenos Aires on Vice President Cristina Kirchner, which sparked a wave of unanimous condemnation in the Latin American country as abroad. 

A man was arrested on Thursday night after he attempted to shoot Cristina Kirchner with a pistol at the bottom of her home, outside which hundreds of activists are gathering every evening for eleven days to show their support for the former head of state, currently on trial for fraud and corruption.

“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,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said in a statement. speech, a few hours after the incident.

According to footage from multiple televisions, the man pointed a handgun at Ms Kirchner's head, just a few feet away, and pulled the trigger without any shots going off, as she signed books and mingled with sympathizers in the Recoleta neighborhood.

“I saw that arm popping up over my shoulder behind me with a gun, and with people around me, he was brought under control,” a supporter of Ms. Kirchner told AFP on the spot, who did not wish to give her name. led in a police car into a nearby street, immediately surrounded by a thick cordon of police. 

This one left shortly after under the cries and boos of several dozen people present, noted AFP.

Of “enormous gravity” < /strong>

The Head of State denounced a fact “of enormous gravity, the most serious to have occurred since our country regained democracy” in 1983. He announced that he had decreed one day national holiday on Friday, “so that in peace and harmony the Argentine people can express themselves in defense of life, of democracy, and in solidarity with our vice-president”.

The governing coalition (center-left) Frente de Todos announced a demonstration “in defense of democracy” Friday at midday in Buenos Aires

The crossroads in front of the building where Ms. Kirchner lives was quickly cordoned off with “crime scene” tape, and the police were taking samples.

According to several Argentine media, the suspect is a 30-year-old Brazilian, unconfirmed information from official sources.

The former president (2007-2015) is currently on trial for fraud and corruption. 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 terms. .

In a highly polarized Argentine political landscape, the indictment gave rise to several demonstrations of support for Ms. Kirchner by the hard core of the Peronist left of which she is the icon. Rallies took place last week in several cities. And each evening, several hundred worshipers gathered near his home, singing and chanting their support.

They were only a few dozen Thursday evening at the time of the incident, and the atmosphere remained strangely calm in the following hours. Among them, Martin Frias, 48, a long-time Peronist, who was sorry to AFP for a political “climate of violence” in the country. “Violence in the lyrics, which lead to violent acts.”

“What a mess is brewing!”

As the hours passed, after the news of the attack, hundreds of people flocked to the intersection of Juncal and Uruguay streets, chanting “If they touch Cristina, what a mess get ready!”, and holding up “Todos somos Cristina” (we are all Cristina) signs.

The assassination attempt was immediately condemned by the entire government camp as well as by the opposition coalition “Juntos por el cambio” (Together for change).

The leader of the opposition right-winger and successor to Ms. Kirchner in the presidency Maurico Macri (2015-2019) expressed his “absolute condemnation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, which fortunately had no consequences for the vice-president”.

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Abroad, several Latin American leaders, on the left in the first place, reacted in the evening. “The assassination attempt against Vice-President Cristina Kirchner deserves the rejection and condemnation of the whole continent,” Chilean President Gabriel Boric tweeted.

“All my solidarity to comrade @CFKArgentina, victim of a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity”, declared the former president and presidential candidate of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Adored by a party of the Peronist left, but divisive personality hated by the opposition, Cristina Kirchner, 69, remains seven years after her departure from the presidency an influential figure in Argentine politics, one year from a presidential election for which she does not has not made her intentions known.

A verdict in her trial is not expected until the end of 2022. Even if convicted, she enjoys parliamentary immunity as President of the Senate and may not go to jail, even run in the general elections in Oct. ber 2023.