Tuesday (September 20th): Kirchner’s brush with death

Name? Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Westphalian identity? Argentinian

Age? 69

Why is she in the news? Earlier this month, there was an assassination attempt on the Argentinian former president and now vice-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, otherwise known as CFK or Cristina Kirchner. While walking through a crowd, a man pointed a gun straight to her head and pulled the trigger, but for some reason or another, the gun malfunctioned and no bullet was discharged. Since then, three people have been arrested in connection to the affair. 

Why do we care? Mostly we care because it’s newsworthy. It is not every day that someone tries to kill the vice-president of a country. Kirchner is a deeply polarising figure in Argentina, and has been the protagonist of several corruption scandals. In 2019, she managed her way back into the executive office by partnering with a more sobering Alberto Fernandez (not related). Lately, however, they had barely been speaking.

Why should you care? Following this incident, Fernandez declared a national holiday to pay respects to Kirchner. Some hoped that such a serious attempt on Kirchner’s life would bring a wave of political unity and condemnation of violence. These hopes have not played out, however, and there has been little progress on Argentina’s political and economic stalemate. You should care 2/10.

Who else cares? President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro is particularly implicated in this incident. The gunman, now under arrest with his girlfriend, is a Brazilian-born Uber driver connected to online far-right fringe. Although he is not connected to Bolsonaro specifically, Brazilians at the moment are reeling from bolsonarist and far-right political violence. For Bolsonaro’s elections next month, this international press does not bode well domestically.

Any further comments? Cristina Kirchner is awaiting the resolutions of her criminal trials, which are expected to come in December. These are not expected to stop her from running for president, however, as she is expected to delay her sentence with court appeals.

Francia Morales

Editor in Chief for Research and Analysis