Gun aimed at Argentine vice president: reports

Buenos Aires, Argentina –

A man was arrested on Thursday night after pointing a handgun point blank at Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez 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 Fernandez 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 neighborhood.

“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 Anibal Fernandez told local cable 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 Fernandez’s face.

The state-run Telam news agency reported that the suspected shooter was identified as Fernando Andres Zabak, a Brazilian citizen. Authorities have not confirmed his identity.

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 Fernandez’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 requires immediate and profound clarification from justice and security forces,” Macri wrote on Twitter.

US Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley also commented on Twitter: “We are relieved to hear that Vice President ↕ CFKArgentina is doing well. The United States joins Argentina and all peaceful people in rejecting violence, extremism, and hatred everywhere.

Supporters of the vice president have been gathering in the streets around her home since last week, when a prosecutor called for a 12-year sentence for Fernandez as well as a lifetime ban from holding public office as part of of an alleged corruption case. in public works during his presidency 2007-2015. Fernandez, who is not related to the current president, has denied all charges.

When Fernandez leaves her apartment every day around noon, she greets supporters and signs autographs before getting into her vehicle to drive to the Senate. She repeats the same routine every night.

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. Following the clashes, what had been a heavy police presence around the Vice President’s apartment was reduced.

The vice president’s allies were quick to point fingers at the opposition for what they say was hate speech that incites violence. In recent days, several key officials have said opposition leaders are looking for a death.

“This is a historic event in Argentina that must be a before and after,” said Buenos Aires Governor Axel Kicillof.

Regional leaders also condemned the attack.

“We send our solidarity to the vice president in this attempt on her life,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Twitter.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, who is running for president in that country next month, also expressed solidarity with Fernandez, calling her “a victim of a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect the differences and diversity”.