World

Argentine politician seriously wounded in deadly Buenos Aires shooting

Argentine lawmaker Hector Olivares 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.

Hector Olivares belongs to the Radical Civic Union party of Mauricio Macri's government coalition

Hector Olivares, in photo provided by the Nation's Honorable Chamber of Deputies, attends a congressional commission session on Wednesday. Olivares was injured and another man was killed after they were shot near the congressional building Thursday in Buenos Aires. (Barbara Bancora/Nation's Honorable Chamber of Deputies, HCDN via AP)

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."

Police collect evidence at the crime scene where Olivares was seriously injured. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

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 world 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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.