Video of the incident shows the vice president smiling as she walks past a crowd of people. A man in the crowd then steps forward, points a gun at Fernández de Kirchner’s face, and apparently attempts to shoot. No bullets are fired and the two-time former president flinches back, unharmed.
The attacker was stopped after a few seconds of confusion and panic.
Argentina’s official news agency Télam identified the man as a Brazilian citizen and later updated his name to Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel.
The Argentine Ministry of Security confirmed that the weapon used in the incident was a .380 firearm with bullets inside.
“Cristina is still alive because, for some reason that we cannot technically confirm at this time, the gun, which was armed with five bullets, did not fire even though the trigger was pulled,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said in a televised statement. address Thursday night.
He called the assassination attempt an attack on democracy, saying: “We must eradicate hate and violence from our media and political discourse.” He declared Friday a national holiday so that the country would unite in support of Fernández de Kirchner.
Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri also renounced the attack on Thursday and called for an “immediate and profound clarification by the justice and security forces.”
Fernández de Kirchner is among the most prominent political figures in Argentina, having served as president from 2007 to 2015, before taking over as vice president in 2019.
Her supporters have been holding rallies outside her home for several days, in response to an ongoing trial accusing her of corruption during her tenure as president.
In early August, a federal prosecutor asked Fernández de Kirchner to serve a 12-year prison sentence. The court has yet to rule on the request.
During the national speech on Thursday, President Fernández said that he had contacted the judge assigned to the case to act as quickly as possible.
Argentina has been rocked by demonstrations this summer, with thousands taking to the streets to protest the administration’s handling of skyrocketing inflation and allegations of corruption.
In 2016, a judge prosecuted Fernández de Kirchner along with 11 other people for the crimes of corruption, illicit association and aggravated fraudulent administration, freezing 643 million dollars of his assets.
Fernández de Kirchner was accused of allegedly directing works on public roads to a company called Construcciones Austral during her presidency. At the time, she had criticized the investigation as politically motivated.
Simultaneously, she was also tried for another corruption case, in which she was accused of allegedly meddling in the sale of US dollars by the nation’s central bank. The case was dismissed in 2021 and the court ruled in favor of Fernández de Kirchner, according to CNN affiliate CNN Español.
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