6 detained for attack on Argentine lawmaker

In this handout released by the Policía Federal Argentina, police escort an unidentified man, one of at least four people who have detained in the shooting attack that seriously wounded a lawmaker and killed the lawmaker's friend, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, May 9, 2019. Congressman Héctor Olivares and Miguel Marcelo Yadón were shot Thursday near the country's congressional building by gunmen in a parked car. The shooting was one of the most brazen to take place in the South American country since it returned to democracy in 1983. (Policía Federal Argentina Photo via AP)

Six people have been detained for a "mafia-style" attack in Argentina that seriously wounded a lawmaker and left a provincial official dead, authorities said Friday

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Six people have been detained for a "mafia-style" attack in Argentina that seriously wounded a lawmaker and left a provincial official dead, authorities said Friday.

Héctor Olivares and Miguel Marcelo Yadón were shot a day earlier near the country's congressional building by gunmen in a parked car in a brazen attack that has shocked Argentines.

Olivares, who is a representative of La Rioja province in Argentina's lower house of congress, was being treated for gunshot wounds that pierced his abdomen and affected vital organs. Pablo Rossini, subdirector of Ramos Mejía Hospital, said his condition was critical.

"We're waiting for the right moment to put him through another surgery," Rossini said. "He's depending on life support that he's receiving in intensive care."

Yadón, a coordinator who worked in the fiduciary of La Rioja's federal electric transportation system, died shortly after being shot.

Authorities said Friday that they arrested several people, including Juan José Navarro in Uruguay with help from Interpol. He is allegedly one of the two gunmen who launched the attack on Olivares and Yadón from the car.

"We were able to establish that this was part of a mafia clan that had planned the attack since 5 a.m.," said Security Minister Patricia Bullrich. The attack took place around 7 a.m. local time.

"A case has been resolved," Bullrich said. "If it hadn't been resolved, it would mean a profound political crisis because there is a member of the lower house of Congress fighting for his life after suffering an attack from a mafia clan that didn't hesitate to kill a person for personal issues."

Bullrich said Friday that investigators are still trying to determine a possible motive behind the crime.

Authorities also detained Juan Jesús Fernández as he was en route to the Argentine town of Concepción de Uruguay, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of the capital of Buenos Aires. Fernández is the owner of the car used in the attack.

Bullrich said that both Navarro and Fernández will likely be charged with the shooting. Others were arrested for collaborating with the plan or helping cover-up the crime.

Bullrich also said that the attack presumably targeted Yadón for "personal reasons" rather than political ones, and that officials in Argentina and Uruguay are working to expel Navarro from Uruguay so he can face justice in his native country.

"What matters is that the two killers who were in the car have been detained," Bullrich said.

Fernández's daughter, Estefanía Fernández, and three others whose identities have not been released, were also taken into custody.

Politicians across the political spectrum have condemned the attack.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said in a televised address that authorities would go "until the very last instances to understand what happened and to find the culprits."

Former President Cristina Fernández, who is widely viewed as a potential challenger to Macri in October elections, also took to Twitter to demand answers.

Olivares belongs to the Radical Civic Union party of the ruling government coalition and is part of the transportation committee in the lower house.


Associated Press journalist Paul Byrne contributed to this report.

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