Messages of shock and solidarity poured in from around the world Friday after a man tried to shoot Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in an attack captured on video.
Government officials and politicians from across Argentina’s political spectrum condemned the attack, including former president Mauricio Macri, leader of the opposition, as well as the powerful Argentine Industrial Union business group, the Supreme Court and a host of human rights organisations
The Pope, Latin American leaders and the UN Rights office in Geneva were among those to send messages of support as police investigated whether the suspect, a Brazilian man, had acted alone.
UN chief António Guterres on Friday expressed shock over the attempted assassination.
"The Secretary-General was shocked at this news," UN spokesman Eri Kaneko told reporters. "He condemns this violence. And he expresses his solidarity with the vice-president, the government and the people of Argentina."
Even Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, a fierce critic of Fernández de Kirchner, lamented the attempted shooting.
"I've already sent her a note. I'm sorry," the far-right leader told the press. "Thank goodness the assailant did not know how to handle weapons. If he had, he would have succeeded."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday called for a rejection of political violence and "hate" in the wake of the attack.
"The United States strongly condemns the assassination attempt on Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner," Blinken wrote on Twitter. "We stand with the Argentine government and people in rejecting violence and hate."
US Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley had echoed those sentiments hours earlier. “Relieved that Vice-President @CFKArgentina is okay. The United States stands with Argentina and all peaceful loving people in rejecting violence, extremism and hate everywhere,” he wrote on the same network.
Latin American allies including Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Bolivia’s Luis Arce and ex-Brazil leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were among the first to condemn the attack on the vice-president.
Reactions flood in
A selection of some other notable reactions:
– The attack on Cristina in Argentina is the result of sectarianism that turns into violence. It has become Latin American practice to think that politics is the physical or legal elimination of the adversary, such a practice is pure fascism. Politics must be Freedom" (President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, on Twitter).
– “Committed as we are throughout Latin America to continue to forge paths of understanding, peace and rights for all, we are dismayed by what happened yesterday in the Republic of Argentina, where armed violence burst into this democracy that has been so carefully guarded" (President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, in a message to the vice-president).
– “Violence can never, never be tolerated under any circumstances. My solidarity with Mrs Cristina Fernández and all the Argentine people in the face of the attack" (President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, on Twitter).
– “We stand in solidarity with the Republic of Argentina in the face of the assassination attempt on its Vice-President Cristina Fernández. We join all the voices that repudiate violence and demand justice" (President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, on Twitter).
– Thank God the tragedy did not take place. Indeed, they [Vladimir Putin and Cristina Fernández] had a warm relationship when Mrs. Kirchner was president. In the current situation, there is no need for contact" (Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to the press).
– The [UN] Secretary General was shocked by this news. He condemns this violence and expresses his solidarity with the vice-president, the government and the people of Argentina" (António Guterres' spokesman at a press conference).
– “I wish to express my solidarity and closeness to you at this delicate moment ... I pray that in dear Argentina social harmony and respect for democratic values will always prevail, against all types of violence and aggression" (Pope Francis, former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, in message sent to Fernández de Kirchner).
- “It was regrettable, reprehensible, but at the same time I would say miraculous because Cristina is fine. It is a reprehensible act in any circumstance, it cannot be justified even when dealing with enemies, let alone adversaries" (President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at a press conference).
– "We send our solidarity to Vice President CFKArgentina in the face of the attempt on her life. We strongly repudiate this action that seeks to destabilise the peace of the brotherly Argentine people. The Great Homeland is with you, comrade! #FuerzaArgentina #FuerzaCristin." (President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, on Twitter).
– "From #Cuba, dismayed at the attempted assassination of @CFKArgentina, we convey all our solidarity to the vice-president, the Argentine government and the Argentine people" (Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Twitter).
– "The assassination attempt on the Vice-President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández, deserves the repudiation and condemnation of the entire continent. My solidarity with her, the government and the people of Argentina. The way forward will always be the debate of ideas and dialogue, never weapons or violence" (President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, Twitter).
– "All my solidarity with Vice-President @CFKArgentina and the Argentine people. The Peruvian government condemns the attempt on her life today. We repudiate all acts of violence" (President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, on Twitter).
– "All my solidarity to comrade @CFKArgentina, victim of a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity. Cristina is a woman who deserves the respect of any democrat in the world. Thank God she was unharmed" (Former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Twitter).
– "We emphatically repudiate the attempt on the life of sister @CFKArgentina, vice-president of #Argentina. From the Plurinational State of #Bolivia, we send all our support, to her, her family, the government and the Argentine people. #TodosConCristina" (Bolivian President Luis Arce, on Twitter).
– "We condemn the cowardly assassination attempt against our sister @CFKArgentina. All our solidarity to the vice-president. The Patria Grande is with you sister. The criminal and servile right wing to imperialism will not pass. The free and dignified people of #Argentina will defeat it" (Former President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, on the same platform).
- "What is wrong with the world! My absolute solidarity with Cristina" (Former President of Ecuador Rafael Correa, on Twitter).
– "No act guided by hate can be endured. What @CFKArgentina suffered today must never be allowed. My solidarity with her and my rejection and condemnation of this criminal act" (Former President of Peru Ollanta Humala on Twitter).
– "The Government of Mexico expresses its rejection and condemnation of the attack against the Vice-President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández. Mexico's fullest solidarity with Cristina Fernández and the Government of the Republic of Argentina" (Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in two tweets).
– "Our firm condemnation of the attack against the [email protected] We express our solidarity with the government and people of Argentina." (Foreign Minister of Honduras, Enrique Reina, on the same social network).