An Argentine lawmaker has been seriously injured and another man has been killed after they were shot in a brazen attack near the congressional building in the country’s capital, authorities said Thursday.
Officials say lawmaker Hector Olivares was shot at around 7 a.m. local time. Olivares is a representative of La Rioja province in Argentina’s lower house of Congress. He is being treated at a hospital in Buenos Aires for gunshot wounds that pierced through his abdomen and affected vital organs.
The Telam state news agency identified the man who was killed as Miguel Marcelo Yadon, a co-ordinator who works in the fiduciary of federal electric transportation for La Rioja. Telam said the men, who reportedly were friends since their teenage years and shared an apartment in Buenos Aires, were shot at least six times. Argentine President Mauricio Macri said doctors were trying to save Olivares’s life and he expressed condolences to Yadon’s family.
“We’re moved by this attack,” Macri said in a televised address. “We’re praying for Hector’s life… We will do everything to find out what happened and find out who is guilty of this.”
As Macri spoke, authorities wearing white jumpsuits collected evidence at the crime scene, where a tree had been pierced by bullets.
Police have leads: security minister
Local media had initially reported they had been shot from a moving vehicle, but a video of the shooting released by the security minister showed a parked car was waiting for Yadon and Olivares.
“We’re going through a very sad and tough moment, especially because it confirms the presence of Mafias in our country,” Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said at a news conference.
“Yadon was killed from a car that was waiting for him … they shoot the main target, which was Yadon, they achieve murdering him and having the opportunity to murder Olivares, they decide not to kill him.”
Bullrich said authorities found the car used in the crime and they have identified the suspects, but would not release any information until they are captured.
Olivares belongs to the Radical Civic Union party of the ruling government coalition and is part of the transportation committee in the lower house. Before he was shot, he had been discussing a bill against hooliganism in Argentine soccer, which produces some of the best players in the worked but is plagued by entrenched corruption and violence.
Attacks on politicians are unusual in Argentina, a country of about 44 million people where the news usually centres on an ongoing economic crisis.