The 35-year-old attacker and his 23-year-old girlfriend have been charged with the attempted murder of Argentina’s vice president, “with prior planning and agreement between the two of them”.
For the Argentine justice, there was premeditation, and several, of the failed attack against the vice-president Cristina Kirchner: the judge in charge of the investigation formally retained a “planning and prior agreement” against the assailant and his companion, the only detainees at this stage. 35-year-old attacker and 23-year-old woman are charged with attempted murder of Cristina Kirchner “with prior planning and agreement between them”, according to the indictment, quoted in full by several Argentine media, including the official Telam agency. The charge is still provisional at this stage of the preliminary investigation, for a period of ten working days, but it attests to the growing conviction of the investigation that the attack was prepared.
Fernando André Sabag Montiel, 35, was arrested Thursday evening at the scene of the attack, when he had just pointed a pistol about one meter from the head of Cristina Kirchner, in the middle of a crowd of sympathizers to whom she was mingling outside her home. For some reason not yet officially confirmed, the shot did not fire, although the weapon – a 7.65 caliber Bersa pistol – was loaded and in working order, but apparently with no bullet engaged in the chamber.
Brenda Ulliarte, his young companion, was arrested Sunday evening in a train station in Buenos Aires. In television interviews in the 48 hours following the attack, she assured that she had not seen her friend for two days. The analysis of video surveillance images has since shown that they were both at the scene of the attack the same evening, according to judicial sources cited by the media. Brenda Uliarte “was present in the vicinity of where they arrived together, and it was determined that they had been in possession of the seized firearm with its ammunition from an earlier date, at least since August 5”says the indictment.
The two defendants did not make a statement during their appearance before the judge, Sabag Montiel confining himself to declaring, according to the same sources: “Brenda had nothing to do with it”. A week after the attack, the motivations and profile of Cristina Kirchner’s assailant remain unclear, even if the investigators have gradually acquired the certainty of premeditation, the extent and number of participants of which remain to be determined. . The investigation is thus interested in a group of five young people, close to the couple. They were heard after presenting themselves spontaneously following the arrest of Brenda Ulliarte. Their telephones were seized, and their exchanges of the last days analyzed.
A “mythomaniac” or a “marginal”
Sabag Montiel, of Brazilian nationality, son of an Argentinian and a Chilean, had lived in Argentina since his childhood. He had no known recent employment but, according to testimony, he had worked as a VTC driver. In 2021, he was arrested for carrying a 35 cm knife. According to photos on his Instagram account, he had several tattoos, including a black sun and a cross similar to the Iron Cross, associated with Nazi symbolism. But no sign of active politicization has so far been found. Testimonies from neighbors and a teenage friend described him as a rather withdrawn character, a “mythomaniac” Where “marginal”, a little lost according to this friend. He was according to witnesses in financial difficulty lately: two cars belonging to him had remained for months in a garage because he could not pay for the repairs, according to the mechanic.
The attack on Mrs. Kirchner, 69, a figurehead of the Peronist left, and still influential in Argentine politics seven years after her departure from the presidency, gave rise to demonstrations. These brought together tens of thousands of people in a country in a state of shock, where government and opposition accuse each other of having created a climate of “hate”. Another concrete consequence is that the government relieved part of the vice-president’s security service on Wednesday, considering “that they did not have the expected level”according to official sources cited by Telam.