The Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, had a loaded gun pointed at her face, almost point-blank range, and the trigger was pulled. But the assassination attempt failed because the gun didn’t fire.
The hair-raising incident was caught on cam as Cristina Fernandez was walking into a crowd of her supporters outside her residence in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening. A video of the incident shows a man’s hand holding a handgun reaching out toward an oncoming Fernandez’s face and pulling the trigger. The gun doesn’t fire. Seeing the gun pointed at her, Fernandez ducks and appears to be picking a book dropped to the ground.
Media reports say that the suspect, a 35-year-old Brazilian man named Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel, tried to fire a 32-caliber Bersa 380 pistol at Fernandez. The gun had five bullets in it, but it didn’t go off despite the trigger being pulled (quite contrary to Alec Baldwin’s gun that
supposedly fired without him pulling the trigger).
When the police later raided Montiel’s residence, they found a large stash of bullets. He was cited last year for possessing a knife and has been moving places a lot across Buenos Aires. At the time of the assassination attempt on the VP, he was working as a driver. VP Fernandez is said to have not issued any public statements yet since the botched attempt on her life but she came out of her home and waved to her supporters on Friday after she was visited by President Alberto Fernandez.
The assassination attempt targeting VP Fernandez earned immediate and wide condemnation on both national and international levels. Soon after the incident happened on Thursday night, the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) announced the suspension of football matches in Argentina on Friday. President Alberto Fernandez also declared the Friday as national holiday in wake of the attack on the VP.
The motive behind Montiel’s assassination attempt is not immediately clear. Media sources have called Cristina Fernandez a “divisive figure” in the country’s politics. She served as the 54th president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015 and is currently facing a trial over corruption charges.