A gunman was arrested on Thursday in Buenos Aires after attempting to assassinate Cristina Fernandez 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 Fernandez stated that the weapon was loaded with five bullets, but jammed for unknown reasons. The assailant has been identified by the federal police as Fernando Andre 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, a semi-automatic weapon.
“It is an event of unprecedented institutional and human gravity”, said the Argentine president 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 assailant joined the crowd of supporters in order to reach Fernandez 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.
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.