Argentina's Vice-President survives assassination attempt
By James Blears
Huge crowds have gathered in Argentina's Capital Buenos Aires in support of Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, condemning the violence. She was returning home to her apartment in the Recoleta district, when within a group of supporters and well-wishers supporting her battle against corruption charges, a gunman emerged pointing a semi-automatic 38 caliber pistol at her. He pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed and did not fire, which meant serious injury or death was avoided by good luck and sheer fate. Cristina, who momentarily seemed unaware of the extreme danger, continued greeting her supporters and was then whisked away by her security entourage.
The alleged gunman is 35 year old street vendor Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel. Born in Brazil, his mother is from Argentina, which is where he has lived since 1993. No motive has yet been determined. He is being accused of attempted murder.
Cristina was First Lady in the single Presidential term of her husband Nestor Kirchner. She twice served as President between 2007 and 2015. And she has been Vice President since 2019. She denies corruption charges against her. As President of the Senate, she currently has immunity from prosecution. Her attempted assassination has shocked Argentina, and there are calls to temper inflammatory political rhetoric, which precipitates anger that can lead to violence.