A man was arrested Thursday night after trying to shoot Cristina Kirchner with a pistol under her house, in front of which hundreds of activists gathered every night for eleven days to show their support for the former head of State , for now. on trial for fraud and corruption.
“Cristina is alive, because for a reason that has not been technically confirmed, the weapon with five bullets did not fire even though it was triggered”the President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez said in a speech, hours after the incident.
According to footage from multiple television stations, the man pointed a gun at Ms Kirchner’s head, just a few feet away, and pulled the trigger without any shots being fired, as she signed books. and mingled with sympathizers in the Recoleta neighborhood.
“I saw this arm extended over my shoulder behind me with a weapon, and the people around me were overcome”told AFP immediately the support from Ms. Kirchner, who did not want to give his name.
The police immediately arrested the suspect, put him in a police car on the nearby road, which was immediately surrounded by a thick police cordon.
He left shortly after the shouts and boos of several dozen people present, AFP said.
In “great seriousness”
The Head of State criticized a fact “of great gravity, the most serious that has happened since our country regained democracy” in 1983. He announced that he ordered a national holiday on Friday, “for peace and agreement the Argentine people will be able to express themselves in defense of the life, the democracy, and the unity of our vice-president”.
The government coalition (left of center) Frente de Todos announced a demonstration “in defense of democracy” Friday afternoon in Buenos Aires
The intersection in front of the building where Ms. Kirchner was quickly cordoned with ribbons. “crime scene”and the police took samples.
According to many 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 lifetime ineligibility against him in this trial, related to the awarding of public contracts in his bastion of Santa Cruz (south), during the his two terms as president. .
In a highly polarized political scene in Argentina, the accusation has sparked many demonstrations of support for Ms. Kirchner through the hard Peronist core without which he is the icon. Rallies took place last week in several cities. And every night, hundreds of worshipers gather near his house, singing and chanting their support.
There were only a few dozen of them on Thursday night at the time of the incident, and the atmosphere remained calm in the hours that followed. Among them, Martin Frias, 48, a longtime Peronist, blamed the AFP for a political “climate of violence” in the country. “Violence of words, leading to violent acts”.
“What a mess is being made!”
Hours later, after the announcement of the attack, hundreds of people gathered at the intersection of Juncal and Uruguay streets, chanting. “If they touch Cristina, what a riot it creates!”and waving signs “We are all Cristina” (we are all Cristina).
The assassination attempt was immediately condemned by the entire government camp as well as the opposition coalition “Juntos por el cambio” (Together for change).
The right-wing opposition leader and Mrs Kirchner’s successor in the presidency Maurico Macri (2015-2019) expressed his “absolute condemnation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, which fortunately had no consequences for vice-president. president”.
Abroad, many Latin American leaders, left behind, reacted to the night. “The assassination attempt against Vice-President Cristina Kirchner should be rejected and condemned from the whole continent”Chilean President Gabriel Boric tweeted.
“All my solidarity with comrade @CFKArgentina, victim of a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity”said the former president and presidential candidate of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Adored by the Peronist left, but a divisive personality hated by the opposition, Cristina Kirchner, 69, remains seven years after she left the presidency an influential figure in Argentine politics, a year from a presidential election in which he did nothing. knowing his intentions.
A verdict in his trial is not expected until the end of 2022. Even if convicted, he enjoys parliamentary immunity as President of the Senate and may not be imprisoned, or even run for the general election in October 2023. .