Protesters attack vehicle carrying Argentinian president

Buenos Aires, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- Argentinian President Alberto Fernández on Saturday received a wave of support from the ruling camp and the main opposition coalition of the country after the vehicle he was traveling in came under attack by protesters in the southern state of Chubut.

“The violence that a few (people) have demonstrated during my visit to Lago Puelo doesn’t go with our (political) calling. I am sure that the violence is not condoned by the people of Chubut and those who live in our beloved Argentina,” Fernández tweeted.

The president also expressed gratitude for the messages of support he had received, saying this proved that the attackers – some of whom were carrying placards with slogans against mining in Chubut – were alone in their actions.

The incidents took place on Saturday morning, when Fernández arrived in the city of Lago Puelo to visit the areas affected by the fires that have been raging there for many days.

A group of people threw stones at the vehicle carrying the president, First Lady Fabiola Yáñez and two of his ministers among others, breaking two windows.

Later, when Fernández got out, some protesters jeered at him and moved within inches of the president, although he was unhurt.

Former president and opposition leader Mauricio Macri was one of the first to condemn the attack on his successor and tweeted that “violence is never the answer.”

“I condemn the act of aggression against the president in Chubut. One shouldn’t express oneself through violence,” said Buenos Aires city government chief Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, another opposition leader.

From the president’s Peronist camp, he received support from a number of cabinet ministers and several leaders of the movement.

Minister of Security Sabina Frederic said on social media that the violence experienced by Fernández and his convoy was “reprehensible” and the protesters had only “undermined democracy and the rule of law.”

Defense Minister Agustín Rossi termed the incident “uncontrolled aggression.”

Meanwhile, Education Minister Nicolás Trotta said that the “recurring anti-democratic behavior of those who oppose mining in the province” was “incomprehensible,” referring to a long-standing conflict between the supporters and detractors of large scale open-cast mining in the region.

In his first statement to the media in Chubut, Fernández said the mining conflict was a local issue of the (Chubut) province, which is headed by Governor Mariano Arcioni, member of the Peronist camp but belonging to the regional coalition Chubut Somos Todos (We Are All Chubut). EFE-EPA


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