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Assassination Attempt vs Against Argentine Vice President Was Not Domestic, International Neo-Nazi Pattern Emerges

Sept. 2, 2022 (EIRNS)—An attempted assassination last night of Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on the street in front of the apartment building where she lives in the capital of Buenos Aires left the nation in shock. Today, however, it led to unprecedented mass demonstrations of support in the capital—reportedly 1 million people—and in cities around the country. The attempted assassination failed because the would-be assassin, the 35-year-old Fernando Sabag Montiel, born in Brazil but a naturalized Argentine, fired two shots at Fernández’s face at point-blank range, but his 32 caliber Bersa pistol didn’t fire; she would have been killed instantly had it not done so.

President Alberto Fernández gave a nationally-televised speech last night, declaring that the attack on the Vice President was the worst incident to occur in the country since the return of democracy in 1983, an event of “extreme institutional gravity.” There would be no business as usual on Friday, he announced, and the country would effectively shut down so that people could go out on the streets to show their support “in peace and harmony.” The country is now operating in emergency mode.

The temptation for Argentines, and foreign observers alike, is to attribute this event to internal politics. That would be a tragic mistake. Yes, the domestic situation is very volatile. Fernández de Kirchner, a two-time President and tough political leader in her own right, has been in the center of political debate in the past two weeks, after a sleazy prosecutor called for her to be jailed for 12 years and banned from politics for life on trumped-up corruption charges. The mass media and the Buenos Aires city government, run by the right-wing political opposition, have deliberately fed an environment of hostility directed at the Vice President, while her supporters rallied in her defense around the country. Polarization is intense.

There is nothing internal about this case, however. The pattern that is emerging from initial investigations is the same one seen in the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York in May of this year, or in the massacre at a Christchurch, New Zealand mosque in March of 2019, in which the perpetrators were neo-Nazi admirers of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion.

The intermittently employed, lumpenized Sabag Montiel was tattooed with the symbols of the Nazi Azov Battalion, the Black Sun (Sonnenrad), the Azov swastika as well as the German Iron Cross. His Facebook page revealed that he admired several neo-Nazi and occult groups, and former friends described him as someone who displayed erratic, irrational behavior, was a fanatic admirer of “death metal” music, was violent, but had also been a victim of bullying and was “often marginalized.” A police raid of his apartment discovered a cache of 100 bullets for his Bersa pistol. He had previously been arrested for illegal possession of a weapon.

Messages of support for Fernández de Kirchner have been pouring into the country from around Ibero-America and the Caribbean and the world, from current and former heads of state, political leaders, legislators and others. Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken sent personal messages, as did UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis who spoke with the Vice President by phone.

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