Video of the incident shows the vice president smiling as she walks past a crowd of people. A man in the crowd then rushes forward, pointing a gun at Fernández de Kirchner’s face and apparently attempting to shoot. No bullet is fired, and the twice-former president steps back, unscathed.
The attacker was taken into custody after a few seconds of confusion and panic.
Argentina’s official news agency, Telam, identified the man as a Brazilian national, later updating his name to Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel.
Argentina’s Ministry of Security confirmed that the weapon used in the incident was a .380 firearm with bullets inside.
“Cristina is still alive because – for some reason that we cannot technically confirm at this time – the weapon, which was armed with five bullets, did not fire although the trigger was pulled,” said Argentinian President Alberto Fernández in a television broadcast. address Thursday evening.
He called the assassination attempt an attack on democracy, saying: “We must eradicate hate and violence from our media and political discourse.” He declared Friday a national holiday for the country to mobilize in favor of Fernández de Kirchner.
Argentina’s former president Mauricio Macri also renounced the attack on Thursday, calling for “immediate and profound clarification from justice and security forces.”
Fernández de Kirchner is among Argentina’s most prominent political figures, having served as president from 2007 to 2015, before taking up the post of vice president in 2019.
Her supporters have been holding rallies outside her home for several days, in response to an ongoing trial in which she is accused of corruption during her term as president.
Earlier in August, a federal prosecutor asked Fernández de Kirchner to serve a 12-year prison sentence. The court has yet to rule on the claim.
During Thursday’s national address, President Fernández said he had been in contact with the judge assigned to the case to act as quickly as possible.
Argentina has been rocked by protests this summer, with thousands of people taking to the streets to protest the administration’s handling of soaring inflation and allegations of corruption.
In 2016, a judge indicted Fernández de Kirchner and 11 others for bribery, illicit association and aggravated fraudulent administration, freezing $643 million of his assets.
Fernández de Kirchner was accused of allegedly directing public road works to a company called Austral Constructions during her presidency. At the time, she criticized the investigation as politically motivated.
She was also simultaneously on trial for another corruption case, in which she was accused of allegedly meddling in the sale of US dollars by the country’s central bank. The case was dismissed in 2021, with the court ruling in favor of Fernández de Kirchner, according to CNN affiliate CNN Español.