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According to Argentine press reports, Fernando André Sabag Montiel is the man identified as having attempted to shoot Argentina’s vice-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on the night of September 1. He is a Brazilian born on January 13, 1987, in Sao Paulo, but he has been living in Argentina since 1993.
This Brazilian-Argentinean aimed at Cristina Fernandez’s head and shot twice, but the gun did not fire, and militants and the VP’s bodyguards knocked Sabag Montiel down. It is still not known why the gun did not fire. According to reports, the police are still examining the weapon that had five bullets in the magazine and none in the chamber.
Un hombre aparentemente acaba de intentar asesinar a Cristina Kirchner. En el video se ve como le apunta a la cabeza con una pistola. Presuntamente disparó pero la bala no salió.
Esto acaba de suceder. pic.twitter.com/4S1JyOcASu
— Emmanuel Rincón (@EmmaRincon) September 2, 2022
After the alleged assassination attempt, the VP continued to sign autographs for her supporters with a rather calm attitude.
The unusual assassination attempt occurs when Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is in a major dispute with the justice system. The vice-president is accused of being the alleged leader of a criminal structure operated within Argentina while being president of the nation in one of the biggest corruption scandals in the South American country. Her husband, the late President Néstor Kirchner, also allegedly participated in the organization.
According to Ámbito, sources from Migrations and Renaper informed that Sabag Montiel’s mother was Argentinean, and his father was Chilean. Likewise, the man was associated with “Nazi organizations,” with tattoos on his body that allegedly allude to Nazi symbology, and had a record for carrying non-conventional weapons.
This was reported by the newspaper La Nación, one of the most relevant media in Argentina, regarding the criminal record of the man who tried to shoot Argentina’s VP: “The incident occurred on March 17, when a police officer noticed that a parked vehicle was missing its rear license plate. When approaching the car, a black Chevrolet Prisma, the officer met Sabag Montiel, who introduced himself as the vehicle owner. At that time, he explained that the missing rear license plate ‘was due to a traffic collision that had occurred a few days before.'”
And continues: “After that, when Sabag Montiel opened the driver’s door to look for the documents, a 35-centimeter long knife fell out. However, he argued that he was carrying the weapon to defend himself.” The man ended up being detained for a few days for this case.
Sabag Montiel and his bizarre appearance on national TV
Users on social media, especially on Twitter, came across a great find: before targeting Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Argentinean-Brazilian had appeared on Crónica TV, a local channel, together with his girlfriend, a cotton candy saleswoman who was criticizing the expensive social plans given by the Argentinean government and went viral.
Este es Fernando André Sabag Montiel, alias “Salim”, la persona detenida por el intento de asesinato a Cristina Kirchner. Hace unas semanas salió en un móvil de Crónica. pic.twitter.com/68u7JOY8NU
— Hernan Gerardo Soto (@hernangsoto) September 2, 2022
According to his social media, which have since been deleted, Sabag Montiel was a man quite fed up with the Argentine political system. Both on TV and his social media, he criticized both the VP of Argentina and her opponent: the libertarian legislator Javier Milei, the main face of the right-wing and the opposition in the South American country.
According to the different local press profiles, Sabag Montiel resides in Villa del Parque, a neighborhood of the City of Buenos Aires, and is registered in the system as a person who provides “non-regular urban and suburban automobile transport service of passengers of free offer, except through cabs and remises, car rental with driver and school transport (includes special urban services such as charters, contracted services.” That is to say, he was possibly working as a driver in some app such as Uber. A situation that some users in networks compared to the movie Taxi Driver, where Robert De Niro plays a cab driver who tries to commit an assassination against a presidential candidate.
A police report revealed that Sabag Montiel’s national ID number is 93.276.512, confirming his foreign origin. Likewise, it was reported that the Brazilian-Argentinean has no active taxes, is single, and has no bank accounts.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.