Thousands in Argentina take to streets to defend embattled vice president

Prosecutors accused Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday of defrauding the state and involvement in a scheme to divert public funds while president between 2007 and 2015.

 Supporters gather outside the house of Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, days after Fernandez was accused in a corruption case, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 27, 2022.  (photo credit: MARIANA NEDELCU/REUTERS)
Supporters gather outside the house of Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, days after Fernandez was accused in a corruption case, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 27, 2022.
(photo credit: MARIANA NEDELCU/REUTERS)

Thousands of followers of Argentina's former president and current Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner took to the streets in her defense Saturday, days after two prosecutors called for a 12-year prison sentence and a ban on public office for alleged corruption during her government.

Prosecutors accused Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday of defrauding the state and involvement in a scheme to divert public funds while president between 2007 and 2015.

Saturday's largest demonstration took place outside the vice president's home in the elegant Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta, where in the early morning hours police set up fences in an effort to prevent a large gathering.

In the afternoon, the demonstrators, who claim that Fernandez de Kirchner is the victim of judicial persecution and that the fences were erected by Buenos Aires' opposition mayor as a provocation, tore down the barriers and clashed with police. Hydrant trucks tried to disperse the crowds with water.

According to local media, five police officers were injured and four protesters were arrested.

 Supporters face police officers as they gather outside the house of Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, days after Fernandez was accused in a corruption case, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 27, 2022.  (credit: MARIANA NEDELCU/REUTERS) Supporters face police officers as they gather outside the house of Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, days after Fernandez was accused in a corruption case, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 27, 2022. (credit: MARIANA NEDELCU/REUTERS)

"Today I woke up with the corner of my house literally besieged (...) They want to ban demonstrations of love and support that are absolutely peaceful and joyful, which are taking place in the face of the judiciary's already undeniable persecution," Fernandez de Kirchner said in a tweet.

Who is showing support for the president? 

In a sign of support, President Alberto Fernandez shared the message on his own Twitter account.

Fernandez de Kirchner leads the most hardline wing of the center-left Peronist coalition that has governed Argentina since the end of 2019.