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Man arrested for failed assassination attempt on Argentinian vice president

InternationalMan arrested for failed assassination attempt on Argentinian vice president

A man held a pistol at point-blank range in front of Vice President Christina, but the gun misfired.

by Khaila Gentle

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Thurs. Sept. 1, 2022

A 35-year-old Brazilian man living in Argentina has been arrested after attempting to assassinate that country’s vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, this past Thursday night. In a moment caught on camera, the 35-year-old man raised a handgun to the vice president’s face as she greeted supporters in front of her home, but the loaded weapon misfired, leaving her unharmed. Not long after, the suspect was grabbed by bystanders and eventually apprehended by police.

“Christina is still alive because, for some reason yet to be confirmed, the gun … did not fire,” said Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, in a national broadcast shortly after the incident.

The video recording of what officials are calling a failed assassination attempt has been widely shared online and across news channels. In it, Fernández de Kirchner covers her face and crouches down right after the gunman pulls the trigger, though she has since told local media that she did not see the weapon.

The gunman has since been identified as one Fernando Sabag Montiel, who has lived in Argentina since 1993 and was employed as an Uber driver. According to a report by The Guardian, upon searching his home, investigators discovered two boxes containing 100 bullets. Montiel remains in custody while police investigations continue.

Christina Fernández de Kirchner, a two-time former president, has been hailed as Argentina’s most prominent political leader—and one who is as divisive as she is popular, having faced numerous accusations of corruption.
Reports coming out of Argentina suggest that there has been a growing climate of violence between the vice president’s supporters and the opposition—owed mostly to charges of corruption that were filed against her in court this year.

Back in August, prosecutors called for Fernández to be permanently banned from public office and imprisoned for 12 years for irregularly awarding public works contracts to a friend’s construction company. According to a report by the LA Times, Kirchner’s alleged fraud—charges which she has vehemently denied—costed the country up to $1 billion.

President Alberto Fernandez has supported Fernández de Kirchner throughout her trial, calling her a victim of “persecution by the courts and media.”

“When hate and violence prevail over debate, societies are destroyed and situations like these arise: attempted assassination,” tweeted Argentina’s economy minister, Sergio Massa.

In response to the attempted shooting, Argentina’s security minister, Anibal Fernández, declared Friday a national holiday to give people the chance to stand “in solidarity” with the vice president.

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