Investigation into attack on Fernández progresses amid political rift
By Augustus Morel
Buenos Aires, Sep 3 (EFE).- The investigation into the attack against Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made headway Saturday as the country’s political rift once again bubbled to the surface.
After the unity shown in the wake of the attack against the former president, Saturday’s session in Congress showed the cracks in the Argentinian political sphere as parliamentarians of the opposition party Republican Proposal (PRO) withdrew before the issuance of a joint declaration of “condemnation of the assassination attempt.”
Opposition deputies went to vote on the document and withdrew because they did not want to debate “a message that is not good for society.”
Legislator and head of the PRO in the chamber, Cristián Ritondo, took the floor before leaving with his colleagues from the Lower House.
“We believe that it is not the people on the street or in the chamber to determine who is guilty of a crime. The judiciary is the only one that has the duty to investigate, judge and convict,” Ritondo said during the special session.
Legislator Javier Milei, an economist with a libertarian ideology, took the opportunity to comment on the attack after opting for silence when the incident happened.
“We absolutely reject all acts of violence, and in this sense we ask that Justice be able to do its job with its hands free, that it not be conditioned by politics,” he said.
Another of the messages that raised controversy was a tweet from the provincial deputy of Santa Fe, Amalia Granata, in which she accused the government of staging a set-up.
“All set up, what a pantomime! They don’t know what to do to victimize her and to make her rise in the polls. Too obvious. All this corruption and graft crap is over. Come on Argentina, we can move forward without these criminals,” the provincial legislator wrote.
Meanwhile, the vice president’s lawyer Gregorio Dalbón said that he will ask for the attack to be classified as an attempted femicide and to broaden the investigation to look for accomplices.
“We are analyzing the qualification for what happened with Cristina Fernández. It should be attempted femicide (Belem do Para) in an aggravated degree of attempt (treachery and firearm). And, in addition, ‘illegal carrying of weapons.’ There is no need to minimize the criminal offenses with these murderers,” the lawyer wrote on his social media networks.
Belem do Para refers to the inter-American convention to prevent, punish and eradicate violence against women, adopted in 1994 in that Brazilian city.
Argentinians were still attentive Saturday to the probe of the assassination attempt against their vice president, at whose face a 35-year-old Brazilian man pointed a firearm and pulled the trigger.
Despite the fact that the case is investigated with certain secrecy, it transpired in the local press that, from Fernández’s statement before Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti, it follows that the former president did not realize what was happening during the incident.
The vice president told the magistrate that she did not notice what was happening and that when she bent down she was looking for a book, according to Infobae news.
The accused remained silent and refused to give a statement. Police searched two houses related to him, seizing 100 9mm bullets.
The investigation will continue this weekend with expert reports on the detainee’s mobile phone and laptop to find out if he acted alone.
Saturday reflected some normality after the massive public march to Plaza de Mayo, which President Alberto Fernández had called for after the attack, in “defense of democracy and in solidarity with the vice president.”
The march was attended by tens of thousands of people in the main square of the Argentinian capital, where the country’s flags and that of La Cámpora, the main youth force of the ruling party, were raised. EFE