Man arrested for attempted shooting of Argentine Vice President Kirchner

Man arrested for attempted shooting of Argentine Vice President Kirchner

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A man tried to shoot Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner near her home in Buenos Aires on Thursday, the country’s president said.

Several TV stations broadcast footage showing the man pointing a small handgun at the vice president at close range as she got out of a car, and she ducked as the gun was aimed.

But the gun didn’t fire even though it was loaded, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said.

“Cristina remains alive because the gun, which contained five bullets, was not fired for a reason not yet technically confirmed,” Fernandez said in an address to the nation.

In a video of the incident, a clicking sound can be heard as the gun is pointed at Kirchner.

Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said the man had been arrested and police were investigating.

“Now the situation must be analyzed by our scientists to assess the fingerprints and the skills and inclinations of this person,” he said.

Local media reported that the suspect, who approached Kirchner in a crowd surrounding the politician to ask for an autograph, is a Brazilian citizen.

The opposition party Together for Change condemned the attempted attack.

“My absolute rejection of the attack on Cristina Kirchner, who fortunately was not injured. This very serious act requires an immediate and thorough investigation by prosecutors and security forces,” tweeted Mauricio Macri, who was president from 2015 to 2019.

– “Solidarity” –

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a strong Kirchner ally who has called the allegations against her “farse,” also tweeted his support Thursday night.

“We express our solidarity with Vice President Cristina Kirchner at the attack on her life,” he wrote.

“We firmly reject this act, which wanted to destabilize the peace of the fraternal Argentine people. The great fatherland is with you, comrade!”

Hundreds of activists have gathered in the past few days outside the home of Kirchner, who is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in his stronghold in Patagonia.

Prosecutors have demanded that the ex-president, who ruled from 2007 to 2015, face 12 years in prison and a life ban from politics.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing of what they said has been proven,” Kirchner, a lawyer by profession who succeeded her late husband Nestor Kirchner as president, said last week.

Kirchner, 69, is the country’s Senate President and enjoys parliamentary immunity.

The verdict in her case is expected by the end of the year.

Even if convicted, she would not go to jail unless her sentence is upheld by the country’s Supreme Court or she loses her Senate seat in the next election in late 2023.

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