BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A man was arrested Thursday night after pointing a handgun point-blank at Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández in what government ministers said was an assassination attempt.
The unidentified man was arrested seconds after the incident began.
Video of the scene shown on local television shows Fernández exiting her vehicle surrounded by supporters outside her home when a man can be seen reaching out with what looks like a gun and the vice president ducks.
Supporters surrounding the person appear shocked at what is happening amid the unrest in the Argentine capital’s Recoleta district.
“A person who was identified by his relatives who had a firearm was detained by security personnel (of the vice president). They put it aside, found the weapon, and now it has to be analyzed,” Security Minister Aníbal Fernández told local news channel C5N.
The minister said he wanted to be careful in providing details until the inquiry learns more. There has been no official comment as to whether the weapon was real.
Unverified video posted on social media shows the gun nearly hit Fernández’s face.
Despite open questions, government officials were quick to describe the incident as an assassination attempt.
“When hatred and violence impose themselves on the debate of ideas, societies are destroyed and generate situations like the one we see today: an assassination attempt”, declared the Minister of Economy Sergio Massa.
Ministers in President Alberto Fernández’s government issued a press release saying they “strongly condemn the attempted homicide” of the vice president. “What happened tonight is extremely serious and threatens democracy, institutions and the rule of law,” the statement read.
Former President Mauricio Macri also repudiated the attack. “This very serious event demands immediate and profound clarification from justice and security forces,” Macri wrote on Twitter.
Supporters of the vice president have been gathering in the streets around her home since last week, when a prosecutor demanded a 12-year sentence for Fernández in an alleged public works corruption case.
Tensions have been high in the upper-class neighborhood of Recoleta since the weekend, when supporters of the vice president clashed with police in the streets surrounding her apartment amid an effort by security forces order to clear the area.
Fernández, who is unrelated to the current president, was herself president from 2007 to 2015.
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. man arrested after pointing at a weapon on vice president argentina during dune assassination attempt