Argentina: The Hired Assassin Came to the Rendezvous with Cristina

By José Miguel Candia on September 13, 2022

The ultra-conservative congressman Ricardo López Murphy, put the finishing touches to the most formidable legal and media campaign -known in the democracy of the last 39 years- against the maximum figure of the Argentine popular camp and vice-president of the republic: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. By requesting repression and a strong hand against those attending the neighborhood where the vice-president lives, he released a statement that was understood as an order to move from words to deeds. “Them or us” he said in a brutal synthesis of hatred to Peronism and Cristina. The inclusions were obvious, and for the right let everyone put on the jacket that corresponds to him: “they” was an obvious reference to the space of the voters and militants of Frente de Todos, the party coalition that sustains President Alberto Fernández. “We” was a self-referential judgment to identify the field of conservative political forces and economic-financial powers, which prepare weapons for the neoliberal restoration in the October 2023 elections.

Shortly after that call for direct action, someone heard the message and set in motion the final chapter of the operation aimed at ending Cristina Kirchner’s life. At 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, young Fernando Sabag Montiel put a gun 20 centimeters from the vice-president’s head and pulled the tail of the trigger. For reasons that are being studied by the experts, there was a failure in the preparation of the gun and the shot did not go off. Cristina life was saved and the country was spared an explosion of popular indignation of uncontrollable consequences. However, the image of a gun approaching the vice-president’s face with slow precision and the double “click” heard will take a long time to be erased from the memory of the Argentines.

The hypotheses and conjectures about the causes that explain the origin of the assassination attempt are, at this stage of the judicial investigation, so abundant and debatable that it is impossible to summarize them in this article. In principle, there is something that should not be accepted as a starting point for the analysis of the case, it was not – as the hegemonic media pretends to convince us- the initiative and decision of a maniac or psychopath who acted motivated by the sole interest of acquiring notoriety, a “lone wolf” eager to do justice by taking the life of a prominent personality of public life and main referent of the popular forces. It was an attack that has intellectual authors, a fact that is almost obvious when we know the social and educational profile of those involved who were arrested by the police, if this line of investigation becomes a reality, justice will have to summon to testify several leaders of the coalition Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change), including among others, the most recalcitrant expressions of anti-Peronism such as Patricia Bullrich, former security minister of President Mauricio Macri and current candidate to the presidency of the republic, the deputies Fernando Iglesias, Ricardo López Murphy, Martín Tetáz and Javier Milei.

But the “lone wolves” with magnicidal vocation do not act throughout the year nor do they do it guided by the order of the stars, they have coverage and know how to move in packs, they respond to precise political and social conditions, just when the elimination of certain leaderships causes a significant damage to a certain political or social force.

The conditions in the country prior to the attack were particularly delicate. The government’s situation – beset by almost unmanageable inflation rates, with the value of the dollar out of control and the difficulty in obtaining the resources needed for social programs – seemed unsustainable and extremely weak. The passing through of three ministers of economy in little more than a month – Martín Guzmán, Silvina Batakis and Sergio Massa – show the lack of direction and the pronounced weakening of the figure of President Alberto Fernández, a president with a blurred profile and trapped in his own limitations that have prevented him from reasserting his authority and adopting adequate responses in the most critical moments of his government.

Under these conditions and with the demolishing hammering of the media and the judiciary, Cristina Kirchner’s leadership emerges again as one of the few reliable horizons for the popular sectors. The possibility of running again for the presidential elections of October 2023 takes on a new dimension, only she, with her enormous social representation in the working class and in the poorest strata of society, is capable of preventing a victory of the conservative alliance whose possible candidacy is discussed by Mauricio Macri, Patricia Bullrich and Horacio Rodriguez Larreta. From this perspective, it is understandable because the elimination of Cristina would cause an irreplaceable vacancy in the Frente de Todos and in the field of progressive forces and the moment of the attack takes on a historical dimension, she was the piece that had to be removed from the board of Argentine politics.

Beyond the electoral process that will take place next year, some issues of concern are still pending. The experience of other popular governments in the region teaches that without strong and participative popular organizations it is difficult to face the tasks of government and defend social conquests. Let us look carefully at the current situation of President Pedro Castillo in Peru, the fate of Alianza País in Ecuador, the coup d’état against Evo Morales in Bolivia, recovered by the heroic resistance of the indigenous and peasant groups and let us analyze, without imitating, but as a mirror in which to look at ourselves and the successful consolidation of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela with millions of citizens grouped in solid mass organizations.

Source: Telesur, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US