Shock, anger after assassination attempt on Argentinian Vice President Kirchner

Messages of shock and solidarity poured in from around the world on Friday after a man tried to shoot Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner in a filmed attack.

The country’s political and labor unions have called for mass protests across the country to denounce Thursday’s assault on Kircher, who survived because the handgun aimed at his face at close range did not detonate.

The pope, Latin American leaders and the human rights office in Geneva sent messages of support as police investigate whether the suspect, a Brazilian, acted alone.

The man in custody has been identified as Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel, 35.

Footage of the incident showed a man pointing a handgun at Kirchner, 69, who served as the country’s leader from 2007 to 2015 and now faces corruption charges.

The incident happened outside Kirchner’s home in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The crime scene was cordoned off by police on Friday, with a handful of Kirchner supporters gathered nearby.

“I saw this arm go over my shoulder behind me with a gun, and with people around me it was overpowered,” a supporter, who did not give a statement, told AFP. her name.

Another, who would only give her first name, Teresa, said: “We were expecting our beloved Cristina. And she just came down to greet everyone, like every night, to greet people. And all of a sudden, there was a commotion, and it was this guy who pointed (a gun) at her.

“Right next to him they grabbed him, they walked right through him here and I have his face etched in my memory.”

President Alberto Fernandez announced to the nation that “Cristina remains alive, because for a reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, the weapon that contained five bullets did not fire although the trigger was pressed” .

He said it was “the most serious event that has happened since we restored democracy” in 1983.

The president declared Friday a public holiday.

– ‘Solidarity’ –

“We have just experienced one of the worst episodes in our history with the attempted assassination of Cristina Kirchner,” tweeted Axel Kicillof, governor of the province of Buenos Aires.

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Pope Francis, himself a former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, sent Kirchner a telegram expressing his “solidarity” while praying that “social harmony and respect for democratic values ​​always prevail,” according to the Vatican.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed “unequivocal condemnation of this assassination attempt” and support for Kirchner and the Argentine people.

“Hate and violence will never defeat democracy,” he tweeted.

Latin American politicians have also expressed their support, with messages received from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Bolivian President Luis Arce, among others.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil now locked in a fierce electoral battle, also called Kirchner’s attacker a “fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity”.

Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the UN Human Rights Office was “shocked” by the incident.

“We will closely monitor the situation,” Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

In the country, the opposition group Together for Change condemned the attempted attack and called for a thorough investigation.

“My absolute repudiation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, who fortunately was not injured,” tweeted opposition leader Mauricio Macri, who served as president after Kirchner.

“This very serious act requires an immediate and thorough investigation by prosecutors and security forces.”

The ruling Front of All (center-left Peronism) coalition has called for a march to Buenos Aires’ central Plaza de Mayo “to defend democracy”.

– Court case –

Kirchner, a trained lawyer who succeeded her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her political stronghold of Patagonia.

Government prosecutors have charged her with defrauding the state of an estimated $1 billion and are seeking a 12-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban from politics.

Hundreds of activists have gathered in recent days outside his home to protest against these claims.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing they said has been proven,” Kirchner said last week.

The verdict in his case is expected at the end of the year.

She is president of the country’s Senate and enjoys parliamentary immunity, which gives her some legal protection.

Even if found guilty, she will not go to jail unless her sentence is ratified by the country’s Supreme Court, or if she loses her Senate seat in the next election at the end of 2023.

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. shock anger after assassination attempt vice president argentina Kirchner

. Shock anger assassination attempt Argentinian Vice President Kirchner

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