The shocking assassination attempt on the country’s vice president the previous day sparked an outpouring of support in a country that is gripped by deep political polarization and economic crisis. On Friday, September 2, hundreds of thousands of Argentines descended on the main plaza in the nation’s capital to show their solidarity against the attempt.
Outside of Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s home in Buenos Aires, where throngs had gathered on Thursday night, an assailant pointed a loaded weapon at her from close range, but the gun did not fire.
The authorities have not been able to determine what the motivation was behind the attack on Fernandez de Kirchner, a former leftist president of the South American nation.
On Friday, the historic Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, which is located near to the Casa Rosada presidential offices, was packed to the brim with fans of her who were waving flags, together with members of allied unions and other activists.
A teacher named Santiago Bianco, who was 58 years old at the time, remarked, “Thank God and the Virgin that the bullet did not come out.”
The crowded square was full with people, all of whom shared the sentiment that there would not be a catastrophe of a far greater scale.
Claudia, who gave only her first name because she did not want to disclose her last name, added, “For us, the notion that something like that might happen to Cristina is inconceivable. Last night, we were rescued from something so horrific that we are unable to even begin to grasp it.”
The attack, which took place against the backdrop of a severe economic slump driven by sky-high inflation and the disintegration of the value of the peso currency, was condemned by political leaders around the region, officials from the United States, and Pope Francis of Argentina. All of these individuals are from Argentina.
There is a possibility that former President Fernandez de Kirchner, a polarizing figure who is perhaps Argentina’s most powerful political operator, will be charged with corruption in connection with an alleged plot to steal public funds while she was in office as president between 2007 and 2015. A prosecution in recent weeks argued for a 12-year prison sentence.
She asserts that she has done nothing illegal, and others who support her have staged demonstrations in the streets and have been gathering daily in front of her home. They accuse the judiciary and the conservative opposition of launching what they refer to as a witch hunt against her.
The office of President Alberto Fernandez has demanded an end to a “rhetoric of hate,” and the President himself has described the attack as the worst that has occurred in the country since it returned to democracy some decades ago.
The attack was graphically seen as the gun was being pushed towards Fernandez de Kirchner’s head, before she crouched down and covered her face with her hands. The incident was beamed into households across the country via video and images that went viral beginning late Thursday night. After that, her backers gathered outside her residence and led a man away.
Oscar Parrilli, a senator with the ruling coalition who is close to the vice president, stated on local radio that she was in shock but fine after the news broke. “To my relief, she hasn’t lost any of her spirit,” he remarked.
A Brazilian man called Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel, age 35, was taken into custody by the police and identified as a suspect.
According to the local newspaper La Nacion, which cited sources within the police department, Montiel had been working as a driver and renting rooms in the district of Villa Zagala in the capital city. According to the local newspaper, when police conducted a search warrant on the property, they discovered one hundred rounds.
Reuters obtained video footage that showed law enforcement officers conducting a search warrant at the location.
Oscar Delupi, a railway worker in his 64th year, attributed the outbreak of violence to partisan political differences.
He stated, “It’s crazy, society has already lost its temper a little bit, the message of hate… is becoming more and more fierce in those weak-minded people who opt for a crazy thing like an attack. It’s crazy, society has already lost its temper a little bit,” he said.