A gunman was arrested on Thursday in Buenos Aires after attempting to assassinate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, vice president of Argentina.
The attacker, who was born in Brazil and naturalized Argentinean, pointed a gun at her head in front of her house in Buenos Aires, where hundreds of supporters who have been backing her for weeks had gathered.
President Alberto Fernández stated that the weapon was loaded with five bullets, but that it jammed for unknown reasons. The assailant has been identified by the federal police as Fernando André Sabag Montiel. According to the police, he has a history of weapons possession. The gun used against the former president has been described as a Bersa 380.
“It is an event of unprecedented institutional and human gravity”, said Alberto Fernández in a recorded message to the whole country. “The attack on Cristina Kirchner is the most serious since our democracy was restored,” he added.
The motive has not yet been revealed. “Cristina remains alive for a reason not yet technically confirmed. The gun, which had five bullets, did not fire despite having been triggered,” said President Fernández in a televised address.
The assailant had joined the crowd of supporters in order to reach Fernández de Kirchner as she was returning home from the Senate. Sympathizers of the former president have backed her in recent days as she faces a trial for corruption.
Fernando André Sabag Montiel, the man who, according to the police, tried to assassinate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Thursday, had been arrested on March 17, 2021 when the police saw him sitting in a car without the rear license plate. The officers’ report states that when he opened the door to show them his papers, a 35-centimeter knife fell out, which he said he only used for self-defense. Asked about the missing rear license plate, the man produced it and blamed it on a recent crash.
His Instagram account describes him as a “Christian,” and is filled with solitary images of himself in front of the mirror, at the gym, showing off his tattoos. On his left elbow he has a black sun, a Schwarze Sonne in German, an esoteric symbol used by the Nazis.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a leftist, was Argentina’s president between 2007 and 2015. She was also first lady during the tenure of her late husband Néstor Kirchner, who served from 2003 to 2007.
She has described herself as a victim of persecution over her trial for allegedly diverting public funds while in office.