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Argentina: Vice-President Escapes Gun Attack

    Argentina: Vice-President Escapes Gun Attack
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: TVP Argentina/AP [via DW]

    Facts

    • On Thurs., Argentina's current vice-president and former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, narrowly avoided a reported assassination attempt after having a pistol pointed at her head at point-blank range outside her home in Buenos Aires. [1]
    • She escaped unharmed as the handgun jammed and the attacker was detained shortly after as he was surrounded by pro-Kirchner supporters, who have been rallying near her residence as she faces a corruption trial. [2]
    • The assailant was later identified as Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel, a 35-year-old Brazilian national, who was reportedly bearing a gun loaded with five bullets. [3]
    • Local media reports that police found 100 bullets in his apartment during a raid on Friday. Montiel may have alleged ties with neo-Nazi groups, but a motive has yet to be determined for the attempted attack on the left-leaning VP. [4]
    • The attack comes as tensions have been mounting in Argentina as a prosecutor is pressing for Fernández de Kirchner to face a 12-year jail sentence and a lifetime ban from politics for alleged acts of corruption during her two-term presidency. [5]
    • Kirchner is a polarizing figure in Argentina and has long deemed allegations against her as politically motivated. [6]
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    Spin

    Left narrative

    By inciting the population against Kirchner, Argentina's mainstream media, the country's judiciary, and opposition leaders have created a volatile environment. As far-right extremism and hate speech plagues Latin America, democracy is under threat, and acts of political violence such as this attempted shooting are only likely to increase.

    Right narrative

    The response of Pres. Alberto Fernández's administration to this incident is deplorable. The government should be conducting a deep investigation into this serious attack against Argentina's vice president to maintain law and order. However, Fernández has instead declared a holiday to agitate its left-leaning militants while irresponsibly accusing the media, the judiciary, and the opposition.

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