Argentina: Man arrested after pointing gun at Cristina Kirchner

Argentina: Man arrested after pointing gun at Cristina Kirchner

Several television channels broadcast the image of an individual aiming at the head of the Argentine vice-president, when she was returning home.

A police cordon protected Thursday evening the home of the Argentine vice-president, Cristina Kirchner, while the scientific police began their investigation. LUIS ROBAYO / AFP

A man was arrested Thursday evening September 1 in Buenos Aires after pointing a loaded firearm at Vice President Cristina Kirchner as she was returning home. According to images from several televisions, the man targeted the Argentinian president in the head, a few meters away, without any shots going off, when she met sympathizers who had come to wait for her at the bottom of her home, in the Recoleta district.

“I saw this arm spring up over my shoulder behind me with a weapon, and with people around me it was controlled”, told AFP on the spot a support of Cristina Kirchner, who did not have did not wish to give his name, and that the TV images clearly show participating in the brief melee. Police officers then seized the suspect, led him into a police car in an adjoining street, immediately surrounded by a thick cordon of police officers. She left shortly after under the shouts and boos of several dozen people present, AFP noted.

The suspect’s gun contained five bullets, [but] for some reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, it did not fire despite being triggered. »
Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez

The crossroads in front of the building where Cristina Kirchner lives was quickly cordoned off with “crime scene” tapes, and the police were taking samples. Security Minister Anibal Fernandez confirmed the suspect’s arrest shortly after. “Now, the situation must be analyzed by our scientific police personnel to analyze the fingerprints, the capacity and the disposition that this person had,” said the minister. In remarks late that evening, President Alberto Fernandez claimed that “the suspect’s weapon contained five bullets”, but that “for a reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, it did not fire well. than having been triggered”.

“Violence in the lyrics”

Hundreds of activists have been gathering every evening for ten days in front of Cristina Kirchner’s home, to show their support for the former head of state (2007-2015) currently on trial for fraud and corruption. On August 22, the prosecution requested a 12-year prison sentence and life ineligibility against Ms. Kirchner, in this trial which concerns the awarding of public contracts in her stronghold of Santa Cruz (south), during her two terms. presidential. The indictment gave rise to several demonstrations of support for Cristina Kirchner by the hard core of the Peronist left of which she is the figurehead.

Rallies took place at the end of last week in several cities of Argentina. And every evening, several hundred, at the foot of the home of the vice-president. They were only a few dozen Thursday evening at the time of the incident, and the atmosphere remained paradoxically calm in the following two hours. Among them, Martin Frias, 48, a longtime Peronist supporter, who was sorry to AFP about a political “climate of violence” in the country. “Violence in the words, which lead to acting out”.

A fact “of enormous gravity”

Thursday night’s incident was condemned by the entire government camp as well as the opposition coalition “Juntos por el cambio” (Together for Change). President Fernandez denounced a fact “of enormous gravity, the most serious to have occurred since our country returned to democracy”. The leader of the right-wing opposition and successor to Cristina Kirchner’s presidency Maurico Macri (2015-2019) expressed his “absolute repudiation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, which fortunately had no consequences for the vice-president. president”. He asked for “an immediate and profound clarification from the justice system and the security forces”.

Adored by the Peronist left but divisive and hated by the opposition, Cristina Kirchner is a weighty figure in Argentine politics, one year from a presidential election for which she has not made her intentions known. A verdict at her trial is not expected until late 2022. Even if convicted, she enjoys parliamentary immunity as President of the Senate and may not go to jail or even run in the general elections of October 2023.

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