Shots in the afternoon, the story of the assassination attempt on Menem in Rosario

Confident in that victory, Menem assured: “We won by demolition.” And he toured the south of the Rosario metropolitan area aboard the so-called “Menemovil”, a vehicle conditioned so that his figure could be seen. The journey ended in Rosario. But When the entourage reached the corner of Felipe Moré and Gálvez, the unexpected happened: three meters from the car, a hand was raised with a long 22-caliber revolver and three shots rang out. It was 5:45 p.m.

“Shots in the Afternoon”was the title of the newspaper’s chronicle The capital of the journalist Hernan Lascano who reported what happened. The note points out that in the midst of the exalted cheer for Menem, the episode was experienced with stupor. The author of the shots was subdued and handcuffed. He was a 32-year-old churrero who suffered from mental illness, he was arrested on the spot, but the episode brought the actions of the provincial police back into debate.

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The photos of the then photojournalist of this newspaper José Granata He is first shown in a wide shot with his right arm outstretched, gun raised and pointing the gun he fired at the presidential vehicle. Later, in a very close-up, being dragged by the neck by members of the security forces.

a living memory

In 1995, Lascano was a reporter for the Politics section of The capital. He had been assigned to cover the end of Menem’s presidential campaign and that Saturday, early, he accompanied the caravan from an open van intended for the press by the organizers of the event. The place guaranteed him the vision of the president but, above all, of the crowd that accompanied the passage of the caravan.

Menem’s visit to Rosario was the final stretch of the campaign. They used the second Menemobilean improved model of the one used in 1989. Menem was president, he was up for re-election, and there was a caravan throughout the suburban area of ​​the metropolitan area: it bordered Pérez, Villa Gobernador Gálvez and ended in Rosario,” he recalls.

The mobilization began early and ended late in the afternoon. “It was one of the most massive expressions of political support that I have seen in my entire life. I remember that I was completely surprised and overwhelmed by the human avalanche that was all the way from block to block“, says Lascano, today deputy secretary of the Editorial Office of La Capital.

That “stunning display of affection” quickly mutated to despair when gunshots were heard.. “From our place, we could see bullfights, a feeling of heaviness. At first everything was confusion. It was quickly said that they had pointed a gun at Menem. But the journalists only saw the movement of the crowd. We took a feeling of tremendous sadness , restlessness, anguish. People were crying, they were afflicted, they didn’t know what had happened, how Menem was. It was only known that there was one person arrested with a weapon“, he recounts.

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beaten to a pulp

According to the chronicle of The capitalthe author came to be located three meters from the Menemóvil. “The shots were fired without anything or anyone preventing the action. The press comments coincided with that short distance and with that freedom of manoeuvre, if a tragedy did not occur it was due to the lack of will of the person who was shooting”, read in the text.

And he relates that from above his mobile, with an expression that denoted the confusion of the moment, Menem asked the people not to attack the man who shot. “Leave him, do not do anything to him, he was pulling up,” the note states.

The author lived on Felipe Moré y Gálvez and supported himself with a street vendor. According to his relatives, he occasionally manifested aggressive behavior. Federal judge Omar Digerónimo, in charge of investigating the incident, ordered his admission to the Ávila Acute Psychiatric Hospital.

The article is in Spanish

Tags: Shots afternoon story assassination attempt Menem Rosario