A man pointed a short gun at Argentine vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and tried to open fire several times, without success. The attack took place on Thursday night in the city of Buenos Aires, in front of the political leader's home.
At the time of the attack, CFK was passing through a demonstration of support near her home. Surrounded by the crowd, the attacker took advantage of the moment when CFK approached to greet the demonstrators. After his failed attempt, the attacker was arrested by members of the Argentine Federal Police present at the scene. He is Fernando André Sabag Montiel, a 35-year-old Brazilian national, resident in Argentina and with several priors for misuse of weapons.
According to the Argentine Federal Police, in 2021, Fernando André Sabag Montiel had already been arrested for carrying a 35 cm long knife with him in an unregistered car in the centre of Buenos Aires.
The weapon seized from the assailant is a Bersa Lusber 84, a small semi-automatic weapon produced in Argentina. According to official sources, the weapon jammed and did not fire, although it was in good condition and loaded with 5 projectiles.
This is not the first violent incident of the week. The day before, the Argentine Federal Police had already arrested another individual on a food delivery bicycle who was riding down the street where the president was standing, uttering insults against her. According to the police force, the individual stopped and took out a French key with the clear intention of hitting the demonstrators who were showing their support for CFK in the court case against the Kirchnerist leader.
"This is an extremely serious incident. It is the most serious that has occurred since we recovered our democracy," said the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, who issued an official statement. "We are obliged to recover the democratic coexistence that has been broken by the discourse of hatred. [...] Social peace has been disturbed. Argentina cannot waste another minute. It is necessary to banish violence from political discourse". To conclude his speech, the Argentinean president declared 2 September a bank holiday so that "the Argentinean people can express their solidarity with our vice-president".
CADENA NACIONAL - Mensaje del Presidente de la Nación, Alberto Fernández (@alferdez). https://t.co/dg2UDugDaz— Casa Rosada (@CasaRosada) September 2, 2022
Initial hypotheses link the perpetrator of the attack to extreme right-wing groups. In photos of Sabag Montiel's Instagram profile, several tattoos containing neo-Nazi symbolism, such as the black sun, can be seen. The detainee made a fleeting appearance on Argentine television a few weeks ago, in which he professed his rejection of the Argentine vice-president.
Both the Argentine political community and the international scene have condemned the attack on the vice-president and have expressed dismay at what happened.
Since coming to power, CFK has occupied a high political profile during her two terms in office, and even after them with the presidential victory of Mauricio Macri in 2015.
In 2019, an alliance with Alberto Fernández brought her back to the forefront thanks to what some Argentine political analysts describe as a masterful move.
Now the political climate in Argentina is especially tense after the judicial cases against the vice-president, against whom the prosecution is asking for 12 years in prison for defrauding more than 5.2 billion Argentine pesos, according to the indictment.
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