Cristina Kirchner, the vice-president of Argentina, victim of an assassination attempt

Argentina was in shock on Friday, September 2, the day after an assassination attempt in Buenos Aires on Vice-President Cristina Kirchner, which sparked unanimous condemnations, in the country and abroad. A man was arrested on Thursday evening after trying to shoot Ms Kirchner with a handgun near her home, outside which hundreds of activists have gathered every night for eleven days to express their support for the ex-chief. State, currently on trial for fraud and corruption. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner uses her corruption trial to revive herself “Cristina is alive because, for a reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, the weapon that contained five bullets did not fire even though they had been triggered,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said in a speech a few hours after the incident. According to multiple television footage, the man pointed a pistol at Ms Kirchner’s head, just inches away, and pulled the trigger with no shots going off, as she signed books and mingled with sympathizers in the Recoleta neighborhood. “I saw this arm spring up over my shoulder behind me with a weapon”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the spot a supporter of Ms. Kirchner, who did not wish to give her name. Police officers then seized the suspect, took him in a police car to an adjoining street, immediately surrounded by a thick cordon of police officers. She left shortly after under the shouts and boos of several dozen people present, AFP noted. National holiday The Head of State denounced a fact of “enormous gravity, the most serious to have occurred since [l’Argentine] regained democracy”, in 1983. He decreed a national holiday on Friday, “so that, in peace and harmony, the Argentine people can express themselves in defense of life, of democracy, and in solidarity with [la] vice-president”. The government coalition (center-left) Frente de Todos announced a demonstration “in defense of democracy” Friday at midday in the capital. The crossroads in front of the building where Ms. Kirchner lives was quickly cordoned off with “crime scene” tapes and the police were taking samples. According to several Argentine media, the suspect is a 30-year-old Brazilian, unconfirmed information from official sources. Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner was the target of an assassination attempt on Thursday, September 1, 2022, in Buenos Aires. LUIS ROBAYO / AFP The former president (2007-2015) is currently on trial for fraud and corruption. On August 22, the prosecution requested against her a sentence of twelve years in prison and life ineligibility, in this trial which concerns the awarding of public contracts in her stronghold of Santa Cruz (in Patagonia), during her two mandates presidential. In a highly polarized Argentine political landscape, the indictment gave rise to several demonstrations of support for Ms. Kirchner by the hard core of the Peronist left, of which she is the icon. Rallies took place last week in several cities. Each evening, several hundred worshipers gathered near his home, chanting and chanting their support. Unanimous condemnation Over the hours, after the announcement of the attack, hundreds of people flocked to the intersection of Juncal and Uruguay streets, chanting “If they touch Cristina, what a mess is brewing! “, and brandishing signs “Todos somos Cristina” (“we are all Cristina”). The assassination attempt was immediately condemned by the entire government camp as well as by the opposition coalition Juntos por el cambio. The right-wing opposition leader and Mrs Kirchner’s successor to the presidency, Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), expressed his “absolute condemnation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, which fortunately had no consequences for the vice-president”. Abroad, several Latin American leaders, on the left in the first place, reacted in the evening. “The assassination attempt against Vice President Cristina Kirchner deserves rejection and condemnation from the whole continent,” Chilean President Gabriel Boric tweeted. “All my solidarity with the comrade [Cristina Kirchner], victim of a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity”, declared the ex-president and presidential candidate of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Adored by part of the Peronist left, hated by the opposition, Ms. Kirchner, 69, remains, seven years after her departure from the presidency, an influential figure in Argentine politics, one year from a presidential election for which she did not make her intentions known. The verdict in his trial is not expected until the end of the year. Even if convicted, she enjoys, as President of the Senate, parliamentary immunity and may not go to prison, or even stand in the general elections of October 2023. Le Monde with AFP