Argentina arrests new suspect in attack on vice president -local media

·1 min read
Supporters gather outside Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's house, in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine authorities have arrested a woman suspected of participating in the organization of the failed assassination attempt on Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner almost two weeks ago, local media reported on Tuesday.

The arrest was made after information about the new suspect was found on the cell phone of the partner of alleged gunman Fernando Sabag Montiel, according to reports by leading newspapers Clarin and La Nacion. On the night of Sept. 1, Sabag Montiel pulled the trigger on a loaded gun inches from Fernandez de Kirchner's head, but it failed to fire.

The apparent assassination attempt has rocked Argentine politics, already straining under a prolonged economic crisis that has stoked sharp internal differences among the ruling center-left Peronist coalition.

Judicial authorities declined to provide information on the reported arrest to Reuters, citing secrecy rules for ongoing criminal investigations.

The unnamed detainee, the third person to be arrested in the case, was allegedly part of a small, informal organization that planned the attack on the influential leftist vice president, according to the reports.

Fernandez de Kirchner previously served two terms as president of the South American country from 2007 to 2015.

The reports also noted that judicial officials have increased security for her and her family following telephone death threats in the last few days.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Lisa Shumaker)