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ARGENTINA | 12-12-2023 16:39

Man who threw bottle at Javier Milei during inauguration identified and arrested

The Buenos Aires City Police arrested a man on Tuesday who threw a bottle at brand-new Argentine president Javier Milei while he was travelling on a convertible to the Government House after being inaugurated.

Police officers in Buenos Aires City arrested a man on Tuesday who threw a bottle at newly inaugurated Argentine president Javier Milei while he was travelling in a convertible to Government House.

“The City Police has just arrested the alleged assailant of President Javier Milei," said City Security Minister Waldo Wolf in a press release.

The individual was identified as Gastón Ariel Mercanzini, who was singled out for throwing a bottle at the ultra-liberal chief executive on Sunday, as he was travelling in a convertible next to his sister, Karina Milei. The ruler’s retinue had left from Congress, where shortly before he had been sworn in, headed for the Casa Rosada within the official caravan. 

Local press revealed images from a security video allegedly showing Mercanzini throwing a bottle, which flew a few inches past the president and hit one of his escorts.

Federal courts ordered the apprehension of the man, aged 51, which the media are now linking to opposition groups.

“I didn’t mean to harm anybody,” said the alleged assailant, while officers escorted him in handcuffs into a police car.

Milei, a 53-year-old self-proclaimed libertarian, arrived in power with the promise of rescuing Argentina from its serious economic crisis and announced the application of a hard austerity programme, which caused much polarisation in the country.

In 2022, while she was still vice-president, Cristina Fernández Kirchner suffered a failed assassination attempt on her life at the door of her home in Buenos Aires.

A man who had snuck into a crowd of supporters waiting to greet her pointed a gun at her head, which ultimately did not fire.  

 

– TIMES/AFP

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