The two perpetrators were arrested, but it is suspected that more people are involved.
On September 1, Fernando Sabag Montiel tried to fire two shots at the face of Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. In a stroke of luck, the weapon did not discharge. It was a clear attempt at assassination that shocked all of Argentina and triggered a huge mobilization the following day in Plaza de Mayo, in Buenos Aires.
But the consequences of this act of extreme violence will continue to spread as the days go by. The two people directly responsible for the attempt have already been arrested, several people have been implicated and there is an endless amount of political speculation, fake news and polemic statements from the opposition, all in just one week.
What is known so far about the case? What hypothesis can one make from the new evidence?
The assailant is 35 years old, of Brazilian origin but has been living in Argentina since 1993. He lived in the town of San Martin, and the Bersa pistol with which he tried to kill Cristina belonged to his deceased neighbor. The weapon was perfectly functional, and had five bullets in it. Montiel’s DNA was identified on the weapon.
The reason why Montiel could not fire the shot is that he did not load the gun properly.
Two striking facts: the gunman has tattoos with Nazi symbology and had participated in two television appearances, with Crónica TV cameras. In both he appears with Brenda Uliarte, his partner or accomplice.
The 23-year-old is assumed to be Sabag Montiel’s partner, but all that is confirmed so far is that the two spent a lot of time together. The most important thing in this sense is that Montiel and Uliarte were together the whole day prior to the assassination attempt on Cristina Fernández.
A day after the attack, Uliarte lied when she appeared in an interview with the Telefe channel, claiming that she “had not seen” Montiel for two days. But the cameras identified her at the scene, with her red hair and a white bag. It is still not known what she was carrying.
It was also confirmed that Uliarte participated in a violent demonstration by the ultra-right wing organization Revolución Federal (Federal Revolution), during which torches were thrown at the Casa Rosada (the office of the Argentine president). In her social networks she showed an incessant sympathy with the libertarian leader, Javier Milei.
The authorities have not yet revealed what has found in Uliarte’s confiscated phone, but what has been confirmed is that there are at least five other people—in addition to her and Montiel—connected to the assassination attempt.
Two of them have been identified as Gabriel Carrizo and Sergio Orozco. They appeared together with Uliarte in an exclusive interview claiming that “they were receiving death threats.” The strange thing is that all of them revealed themselves within hours of the assassination attempt against Cristina Fernández and collaborated with the justice system.
Carrizo posted in his Whatsapp status: “The government is vulnerable, and I hope it is clear to them… We are the ones who keep these parasites up there, they are going to judge a person who would be doing a great favor to the whole Argentine Nation.” He also indirectly threatened the President of the Nation, Alberto Fernández. “You’re next, Alberto,” he wrote.
Reconstruction of the event
With the information collected a week after the assassination attempt, the court of Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti and the prosecutor Carlos Rívolo confirmed that “the referred event had prior planning and agreement.” In other words, they ruled out that the assailant, Montiel, acted completely alone.
It is more than proven that the attack was planned and directed, at least, together with Montiel’s partner or accomplice, Uliarte. But could there be more people involved? The reconstruction of the event raises this hypothesis.
The morning of September 1
That same Thursday, Montiel and Uliarte went to a tattoo parlor. according to information from security cameras.
- The couple went to a McDonalds in Quilmes. Both were dressed the same as they were during the attack and Uliarte had her white bag that she had in her hand during the attack. This time Montiel was carrying it.
- Uliarte picked up a piece of paper thrown by a woman sitting nearby. Sabag Montiel read something and then discarded the paper. Who was the woman and what did Montiel read?
- The pair then took the train to Constitución, then a bus left them at the Obelisco and from there they walked towards Uruguay and Juncal.
- Images from security cameras confirmed when they arrived together (Uliarte was carrying the white bag) and mingled with the crowd.
The curious fact is that both arrived only 15 minutes before the vice president arrived at her home, almost as if they had some precise information.
Most of the opposition leaders initially repudiated the assassination attempt against Cristina Fernández, but after a few hours they began to downplay the importance of the event. The ruling coalition Frente de Todos believes that this is due to the internal situation in Juntos por el Cambio (opposition), which enables the positions to change from one moment to another.
Former President Mauricio Macri himself first repudiated the attempt on social media, but hours later he claimed that Kirchnerism was using the case to make “a hunt for symbolic enemies.”
Subsequently, the mayor of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, ruled out any “dialogue” or “agreement” with Kirchnerism, in the midst of a context of deep institutional weakness.
Former minister of security and president of right-wing party Republican Proposal (PRO), Patricia Bullrich, made a very different decision and did not directly repudiate the attempt to assassinate Cristina and even complained about the national holiday announced by President Alberto Fernández.
Meanwhile, Congressman Rodolfo Tailhade (Frente de Todos) asked for investigation into the statements and the bills presented by two PRO deputies—Gerardo Milman and Francisco Sánchez—regarding Fernández de Kirchner’s security. At first, both legislators had complained about the poor security of the vice president (and even warned of a “possible assassination attempt” against her). Ten days later, they complained the opposite, that is to say, the so-called excessive security expenses of the former president.
The latest bill was presented on September 1, the day of the attack. “If one links it with their own statements and bills from days prior, it seems that they are looking for information on the custody so as not to miss an attack,” said Tailhade.
The two deputies are close to Patricia Bullrich. Sánchez, in particular, was the one who called for the death penalty for Fernández de Kirchner.
(Peoples Dispatch) by Julián Pilatti