Video Captures Moment Man Tries to Shoot Argentina’s Vice President in the Face

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner assassination attempt

Fernandez de Kirchner (pictured) was returning from court at the time of the attack. Photo by Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner survived an assassination attempt on Thursday night, after a man with a loaded gun tried to shoot her in the head at close range while she was greeting supporters in front of her house. The gun, which had been loaded with five bullets, did not go off, according to officials.

Argentinian president Alberto Fernandez described the incident as “the most serious event we have gone through since Argentina returned to democracy [in 1983].”


“A man pointed a firearm at her head and pulled the trigger,” President Fernandez said in a televised address. “Cristina is still alive because, for some reason yet to be confirmed, the gun… did not fire.”

Video footage captured the moment that the assailant, emerging from a crowd of supporters outside Fernandez de Kirchner’s house, held the pistol just inches away from her head. She blinks and flinches as the would-be assassin squeezes the trigger, and multiple bystanders surge forward as the gun appears to jam. 

The assailant, a 35-year-old man of Brazilian origin, was quickly arrested by police and the weapon was seized. 

Fernandez de Kirchner, who served as president for two terms between 2007 and 2015, and is currently in the midst of a corruption trial, was returning from court at the time of the attack. The 69-year-old is accused of defrauding the state and fraudulently awarding public works contracts. If found guilty she could face a 12-year prison sentence and possible disqualification from public office. She denies the charges.

President Fernandez declared Friday a national holiday in the wake of the incident, so that Argentinian people would have time to “express themselves in defence of life, democracy and in solidarity with our vice president.”

He stridently condemned the attack.

“We can disagree, we can have deep disagreements, but hate speech cannot take place because it breeds violence and there is no chance of violence coexisting with democracy.”

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