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Roundup: Argentine business, economic leaders condemn failed attack on VP

People participate in a demonstration condemning the attack against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in the Plaza de Mayo, in the city of Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, on September 2, 2022. (Xinhua/Martin Zabala)

Political tensions have been surging in the South American country since a federal prosecutor on Aug. 22 requested a 12-year prison sentence for Fernandez for alleged corruption when she was president of the nation.

BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Argentine business and economic leaders on Friday condemned the attempted assassination of the country's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Late Thursday, a man pointed a gun at Fernandez's face as she was outside her home, surrounded by a crowd of supporters. The weapon reportedly got jammed, foiling the shooting.

The suspect, who is in custody, has been identified as 35-year-old Brazilian national Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel.

Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa and other cabinet members expressed their solidarity with Fernandez.

"When hate and violence prevail over the debate of ideas, they destroy societies and generate situations like today's: an assassination attempt," Massa posted on social media.

"All my solidarity with Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her family, and my wish that all responsibilities be determined," added Massa.

The country's leading business groups also condemned the attack, and pledged to pursue dialogue between political camps and strengthen democracy.

The Argentine Industrial Union (UIA) ratified in a statement its commitment to "peace, dialogue and basic consensus that will allow the country to move forward."

"We call on all sectors of society to end antinomies and to hold debates within the framework of democracy," the UIA said.

The Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Services (CAC) expressed "its strongest condemnation of the attempted assassination, while advocating that justice act independently and quickly in order to clarify the unfortunate act and punish the guilty."

"The natural differences inherent in any community must be resolved without falling into violence of any kind, permanently betting on dialogue and the search for consensus," the CAC said.

Similarly, the General Business Confederation of the Argentine Republic called the attack "an unprecedented event in Argentine democratic history and cannot be repeated."

Political tensions have been surging in the South American country since a federal prosecutor on Aug. 22 requested a 12-year prison sentence for Fernandez for alleged corruption when she was president of the nation.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez convened leaders of various sectors, including trade unions, business groups, and religious organizations, to a meeting at government headquarters on Friday afternoon "to build a broad consensus against hate speech and violence," his office said.

In an address to the nation, the president said the incident "is the most serious that has occurred" since the country regained democracy in 1983.

Meanwhile, the public was invited to participate in a Friday rally in downtown Buenos Aires in defense of democracy and in solidarity with the vice president. ■