Argentina: Gun misfire kills vice president

Associated Press

Friday, September 02, 2022 07:55
Last updated: about 10 minutes ago

A man tried to kill politically powerful Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez outside her home, but the gun misfired, the country’s president said.

Officials said the man was quickly overwhelmed by security in the Thursday night incident.

President Alberto Fernandez, who has nothing to do with the vice president, said the pistol did not fire when the men tried to fire.

“A man put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger,” the president said on national television after the incident. He said his firearm was loaded with five bullets, but he “didn’t fire when I pulled the trigger.”

The Vice President appeared unharmed, and standing in the crowd of her supporters, the man was overwhelmed within seconds.

Witness Gina De Bye, who was near the vice president during the incident, told the Associated Press that she heard “the click of the trigger.” She said she didn’t realize it was a handgun until the man was rushed by security.

President Fernandez urged political leaders and society at large to deny the attempted shooting, calling it “the most serious incident since democracy was restored” in 1983 after a military dictatorship.

The attacks came as the vice president faces trial for allegations of corruption during his tenure from 2007 to 2015. She vehemently denied it, and her supporters began to surround her home in the upmarket Recoleta neighborhood of the Argentine capital.

A video aired on a local TV channel showed Fernandez stepping out of the car surrounded by supporters when a man was seen reaching out with what appeared to be a pistol. The Vice President crouches down as the people around him, the supposed shooter, seem shocked by what’s going on.

An unconfirmed video posted on social media shows the pistol almost touching Fernandez’s face.

The suspect has been identified as Brazilian citizen Fernando André Sabag Montiel, said a security ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Officials say he has no criminal record. He said the weapon was a .32 caliber Bersa.

The president declared Friday a holiday, “so that the people of Argentina may defend life and democracy in peace and harmony, and express solidarity with the vice president.”

Supporters of the vice president have been flocking to the streets around her home since prosecutors last week called for Fernandez to serve 12 years in prison and a lifetime ban from holding public office in a corruption case.

Shortly after the incident, government officials were quick to denounce what they called an assassination attempt.

Economy Minister Sergio Massa said: “When the discussion of ideas is inflicted with hatred and violence, societies are destroyed and we get what we see today – attempted assassinations.

In a news release, ministers said they “vigorously condemned the attempted murder” of the vice president. “What happened tonight is extremely grave and threatens democracy, institutions and the rule of law.”

Former president Mauricio Macri, who took over from center-left Fernandez as president, also condemned the attack. “This extremely serious event requires an immediate and thorough explanation by the judiciary and security forces,” Macri wrote on Twitter.

Opposition Republican Proposed Party leader Patricia Bulrich criticized Fernandez’s reaction to the attack, accusing him of “playing with fire”. “He institutes national holidays to denounce the opposition and the media and mobilize activists instead of seriously investigating serious cases,” she said.

Tensions have risen in the Recoleta neighborhood since the weekend when supporters of the vice president clashed with police in the streets surrounding their apartments as law enforcement officers tried to clear the area. After the clashes, a strong police presence around the Vice President’s apartment was curtailed.

Fernandez leaves his apartment around noon each day to greet supporters, sign autographs, and then drive to the Senate. She repeats the same routine every night.

After the incident, the vice president’s supporters were quick to point the finger at the opposition for what they said was hate speech promoting violence. A leader said they were looking for the dead.

Buenos Aires Governor Axel Kislov said: “This is a historic event in Argentina, it has to be before and after.

Local leaders also condemned the attack.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro tweeted: “I express my solidarity with the attempt on the life of the Vice President.

Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, a candidate in next month’s Brazilian presidential election, also called Fernandez “a victim of fascist criminals who do not know how to respect differences and diversity”, calling Fernandez expressed solidarity with

Caption: This still image, taken from a video provided by Television Publica Argentina, shows Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez firing a gun during an event in front of her home in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Thursday, September 20. shows a man pointing towards you. January 1, 2022. Argentina: Gun misfire kills vice president

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