Argentine lawmaker Héctor Olivares and his adviser and friend Miguel Marcelo Yadón, were walking side-by-side on a sidewalk near Argentina’s National Congress in Buenos Aires on Thursday morning when gunmen ambushed them.
Olivares, 61, is in serious condition at a nearby hospital, according to Argentine media. Yadón, 58, was struck multiple times and killed.
Grainy security footage released by the Argentine government in the aftermath of the unusual attack shows a confusing scene.
Although both men fall to the ground, one then rises and seems to be trying to find his way to the street to seek assistance. At the same time, two people emerge from the car where the shots appeared to have originated. One crosses the street and continues on foot, and the other gets back into the vehicle.
It was morning in Buenos Aires, and there was already light traffic, but only one bicyclist stops to speak with the victim closest to the street. The car lingers at the scene, even after the bicyclist appears, before slowly pulling away. Argentine authorities have already recovered the vehicle they said was used in the shooting, Reuters reported.
Such explicit political violence is rare in Argentina. Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Thursday’s attack was “mafia-style.”
She told reporters in Buenos Aires that “there is progress in the investigation” and that Yadón, not Olivares, appeared to have been the target.
“Yadón was killed from a car that was waiting for him," she said. "They shoot the main target, which was Yadón, they achieve murdering him, and having the opportunity to murder Olivares, they decide not to kill him.”
The attack “confirms the presence of mafias in our country," the Associated Press reported her as saying.
Agence France-Presse reported that Olivares belongs to the criminal legislation committee in parliament, but Bullrich said “the objective was Yadón.” The two men reportedly lived together.
Héctor Lencinas, a spokesman for Olivares, told reporters in Buenos Aires that they have “never received any threats of any type in the office.”
“It’s an open office where everyone is welcomed,” he said, according to AFP.
Police announced Thursday that they had identified suspects, but they appeared to still be searching for a motive.
“If it does turn out the judicial investigations show there is a connection to politically motivated violence then we can definitely say that we’re facing a very grave institutional event,” Ulises Bencina, a spokesman for Oliveres, told the AP.
Speaking on television on Thursday, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said officials “will do everything to find out what happened and find out who is guilty of this.”