President Alberto Fernández has claimed that those behind the recent failed shooting attack on Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner also wanted to assassinate him.
Speaking on the Spanish TV channel Telecinco, Fernández said in an interview that the “gang of scoundrels” behind the attempt had “full understanding of the criminality” of the act and that they intended to also target him.
"The conversations of the accused became known and they were talking about the failed attempt on Cristina's life and they were talking about me being next," the head of state said in an interview with a Spanish television channel.
The president said he was not afraid of threats against his life, but warned that it is necessary to remain alert against those with bad intentions.
"What I don't want is for them to separate us from the people. This is not Argentina, it is a gang of scoundrels who are capable of such an atrocity," said Fernández, referencing attacker Fernando André Sabag Montiel and the others who are under investigation, including the assailant’s girlfriend, Brenda Uliarte.
The Peronist leader admitted that there had been failures in the security operations protecting the veep, though he emphasised that protecting against such threats was extremely difficult.
"The whole security system in these circumstances fails. That person [Sabag Montiel] knew that he was in the middle of a crowd that was going to cheer and accompany Cristina and he knew that, whatever the result, he was going to be arrested by the people around him," said the president. "When you are willing to risk your life or your freedom to achieve your objective, it is very difficult to predict” such an attack.
Adopting a self-critical tone, Fernández said that Argentina had to do more to ensure hate speech and that such acts were not repeated.
"It is not a Martian who came to shoot at Cristina, it is not a person who came and went outside our society," he analysed. “He is not unimpeachable, he has no alteration in his mental faculties, and he has full understanding of the criminality of his act. He has moved freely in directing his actions, he is not a madman.”
Finally, he said that Fernández de Kirchner is "strong, well integrated and working," expressing thanks she is "in one piece."