The vice-president of Argentina narrowly escaped being shot dead when the gunman’s weapon jammed as he was aiming at her. Video captures the moment Cristina Fernández de Kirchner came face to face with the loaded weapon while being surrounded by a crowd of supporters.
The former president was travelling back home after appearing in court to answer to corruption charges. She rejects the accusations. Police reported that the shooter, who was identified by local media as a 35-year-old Brazilian man, had been apprehended.
They are trying to determine why the left-leaning politician, who served as Argentina’s president from 2007 to 2015 and as its first lady for four years prior to that, was attacked. Five bullets were loaded into the gun, but it did not fire when the trigger was pulled, according to President Alberto Fernández.
As Ms. Fernández de Kirchner approaches, the gun can be seen emerging from the crowd in a video going viral on social media. She initially displays signs of confusion as she ducks to pick up something that has been dropped to the ground.
Another video shows the crowd trying to shield Ms. Fernández de Kirchner from the alleged shooter as he approached her at close range. Since a few nights ago, people have been congregating in front of her house to show their support as she fights allegations that she defrauded the state and participated in a scheme to divert public funds while she was president.
A weapon was discovered a short distance from the scene after the man had been arrested, a police spokesperson earlier told the Reuters news agency. President Fernández, who served as the chief of staff to both Ms. Fernández de Kirchner and her husband during their terms in office, addressed the nation late on Thursday night. He said: “Cristina remains alive because, for a reason not yet technically confirmed, the gun, which contained five bullets, did not fire.”
The attack on Ms. Fernández de Kirchner was one of the “most serious” incidents since the nation returned to democracy in 1983, he continued, denouncing the attacker and the attack.
Since she is the Senate President, Ms. Fernández de Kirchner has parliamentary immunity. Unless her sentence was upheld by the nation’s Supreme Court or she lost her Senate seat in the upcoming elections at the end of 2023, she would not be put in prison. Following her tenure as president, Ms. Fernández de Kirchner has been the subject of numerous additional corruption trials. It will likely take several months before the trial’s verdict is known.