Massive demonstrations after the failed attack on Cristina Kirchner

Massive demonstrations after the failed attack on Cristina Kirchner

Thursday evening after 9 p.m., a man apparently acting alone pointed a handgun at Ms. Kirchner’s head, just a few meters away, as she mingled with well-wishers outside her home in Buenos Aires. According to television footage, the man appeared to pull the trigger without any shots going off.

A man arrested

Immediately subdued and arrested, the man was identified as Fernando André Sabag Montiel, 35, of Brazilian nationality but of Argentine mother and Chilean father, according to police sources quoted by the official Telam news agency. Living in Argentina since 1993, he was arrested in 2021 for carrying a knife.

He refused to answer questions from the judge and the prosecutor in charge of the case, according to judicial sources quoted by the local press. He had previously been subjected to psychological examinations which determined that he is “located in time and space” and is therefore justiciable.

A man, “Mario”, presenting himself as his friend since adolescence, described him on the Telefe channel as a “mythomaniac”, a “marginal” lost since the death of his mother, and whose life “has often been influenced by alcohol. On his Instagram account, Fernando Sabag wore multiple changing looks, and many tattoos including a black sun, generally associated with Nazi groups.

compact crowd

Crowds gathered in several Argentine cities.


Crowds gathered in several Argentine cities.

JUAN MABROMATA/AFP

The assassination attempt was immediately condemned by the entire Argentine political class.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “shocked” by the assassination attempt which he “condemns”. The United States has “strongly condemned”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicating on Twitter that Washington stands “with the government and people of Argentina in the rejection of violence and hatred”.

In Buenos Aires, the Plaza de Mayo, the historic scene of Argentina’s joys and angers, was black Friday with a packed crowd, as several avenues leading to it, at the call of the ruling coalition Frente de Todos (center -left) and affiliated movements. “If the tocan has Cristina, that quilombo is going to armar! “(If they touch Cristina, what a mess is preparing!), fetish song, resounded between bass drums and firecrackers in the rows, noisy and festive, of the supporters of Mrs. Kirchner, at 69 years old, an essential figure of the Argentine left.

In Santa Fe, Rosario, Cordoba, Tucuman and many other cities, local media reported marches, called by pro-government sectors.

“Verbal abuse” materialized

Revered by a fringe of the Peronist left, but a divisive politician hated by part of the opposition, Cristina Kirchner, president of the Senate, remains seven years after her departure from the presidency an influential actress in the country’s politics a year behind her. a presidential election for which it has not made its intentions known.

She is currently on trial for fraud and corruption, trial partly in virtual mode, which she does not attend. On August 22, 12 years in prison and life ineligibility were requested against her, in this case of public contract awards in her stronghold of Santa Cruz (south), during her two presidential terms.

Since the indictment, every evening hundreds of supporters gather outside the home of the vice-president to sing their support. It was during one of these gatherings, however calm, that the attack took place, which for many Argentines in the street on Saturday, even accustomed to the strong polarization of their politics, marks a break.

“There was already a certain level of verbal and symbolic violence, but now it has materialized. It’s a turning point,” said Diego Reynoso, a political scientist at the University of San Andrés.

Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.


Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP

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