Incident took place as vice president was getting out of her car outside her Buenos Aires home.

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been threatened by a man with a gun, in what one government colleague described as an assassination attempt. No shots were fired, and she was unharmed.

A man was later arrested over the incident, which took place outside Kirchner’s home in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said.

Several television channels broadcast footage of the man, who was part of a crowd gathering around Kirchner as she got out of her car, aiming a gun at the politician’s head from close range. Thousands have gathered in recent days to support the former president, who is in the midst of a corruption trial.

Fernandez said police would open an investigation.

A photo released by the Telam news agency shows a gun pointed at Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as she arrives home in Buenos Aires, Argentina [Telam via AFP]

“Now, the situation has to be analysed by our scientific people to evaluate the fingerprints and the capacity and propensity this person had,” he said.

Local media reported the suspect was a Brazilian national and appeared middle-aged.

Government and opposition leaders, as well as politicians from other Latin American countries, expressed solidarity with Kirchner, who has been a divisive political figure and served two terms as president between 2007 and 2015.

Her successor, Mauricio Macri, said the incident required “immediate and profound clarification by justice system and security forces”.

Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is the frontrunner in that country’s presidential election, scheduled for next month, also expressed his shock.

“Cristina is the victim of a criminal fascist who does not know how to respect differences,” he said. “Thank God she escaped unharmed.”

Current Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez will supposedly address the country on television later on Thursday.

Kirchner, 69, is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her stronghold in Patagonia; a verdict is expected by the end of the year.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing that they have said was proven,” Kirchner, a lawyer who succeeded her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, said last week.

Kirchner is currently the Senate president and enjoys parliamentary immunity.

Even if convicted, she would not go to prison unless her sentence was ratified by the country’s Supreme Court, or she loses her Senate seat at the next elections at the end of 2023.

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