Argentina is led by President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Kirchner. The two leftist leaders are under increasing pressure as Argentina goes into economic freefall, with inflation of the Argentine Peso (ARS) set to reach 90% by year’s end.
Kirchner belongs to the Citizen’s Unity Party and is an influential, well-known public figure.
Last night, on September 1, a 35-year-old Brazilian man walked up to Kirchner, pulled a gun, and shot her directly in the face from less than one foot away.
Here’s the Twist
The gun did not go off. Kirchner ducked as the trigger clicked and she realized what happened. Her security guards immediately moved into place, shouting for everyone to get back.
The incident occurred as Kirchner was arriving at her residence in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The man fired the revolver, which failed at the time of the shooting for an unknown reason, according to President Fernandes.
According to the Argentine government’s security minister, Aníbal Fernández, the attempted assassin is Fernando Andrés Sabag Montiel, a 35-year-old Brazilian.
The attack occurred when Kirchner, who is also the president of the Argentine Senate, signed books and waved to supporters in front of her home.
The motive for the attack is unknown; however, Montiel has been identified as a neo-Nazi who has a black sun (Sonnenrad) tattoo on his arm.
#BREAKING: Assassinate attemp against Argentina's Vice-President Cristina Kirchner, The gun failed on the last moment.
The Gunman: A Brazilian 35 yo man pic.twitter.com/q414UWX4TL
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) September 2, 2022
A man said he loves her and Kirchner approached to say hello. Suddenly, an arm with a revolver appeared in the images filmed by a Kirchner supporter. The gun is just inches from the head of Argentina’s vice president and the shooter pulls the trigger.
Whereas the gun doesn’t go off. Kirchner instinctively tries to protect herself by putting her hands in front of his face.
The Argentine Federal Police, which was handling Cristina’s security, quickly detained Montiel. After the attempted murder, Cristina continued greeting supporters and signing autographs. Argentina’s deputy has a security team of 100 federal police officers.
Montiel’s deeper motives are unknown, but on social media, he follows groups such as ‘satanic communism,’ among others ‘linked to radicalism and hatred,’ including his Nazi tattoos and apparent extremism.
Montiel reportedly has worked as a truck driver, but has a previous record for illegally carrying a knife in 2021.
President Alberto Fernández to the nation: "@CFKArgentina remains alive because for a reason not yet technically confirmed, the gun which had five bullets did not fire despite the trigger being pulled." pic.twitter.com/bp61EockbA
— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) September 2, 2022
The World Reacts
World leaders reacted to the killing, with Brazil’s leftist presidential candidate Lula saying the “criminal fascist” who tried to kill her is an example of the danger of the far right.
Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Minister of Economy, decried the attack as an example of “hatred” and expressed “solidarity” with Kirchner and her family.
What’s clear is America does not want to experience a situation with this much tension. South America is the perfect example of the kind of chaos and violence that happens in failed states.
Let’s not go down that path!