Cotton Candy Gang member Brenda Uliarte sent a letter on Tuesday to federal judge María Eugenia Capuchetti claiming her innocence in the attempted assassination attempt against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kircher (CFK). Uliarte claimed that she tried to prevent it and placed the blame squarely on her boyfriend, Fernando Sabag Montiel. She also accused him of having ties to the far-right group Revolución Federal and PRO deputy Gerardo Milman.
“I grabbed [Sabag Montiel] by the arm while we were approaching the crowd and told him not to do it. To quit the joke because it wasn’t funny anymore and I was getting really scared […] I tried grabbing him by the arm again, and he called me a coward. That’s when I realized he was really going to it,” Uliarte says in her letter, adding that she left him at that moment and made her way to the house of an ex-boyfriend.
Uliarte described how her boyfriend would often say that he hated Kirchner and that she had ruined the country, but that that never raised any red flags because “that’s something lots of people say.”
“Up until that very day, I never imagined he would go through with it. I thought he was screwing with me, trying to scare and manipulate me,” she said.
In another section of the letter, she claimed not to know Sabag Montiel’s motive but contended he wasn’t capable of organizing something like this on his own.
“There’s clearly someone else behind all this,” Uliarte wrote. She stated that she didn’t know if he was paid but that he told her twice that Revolución Federal received funding from sectors opposing the vice president.
“People linked to the anti-Kirchnerist government [sic] paid for us to go to rallies and marches. Actually, they paid him, and he took me with him.”
Revolución Federal has been charged with inciting violence in a separate case for their actions and violent discourse, which included calling for Kirchner’s assassination. Kirchner and her lawyers have asked for the group to be included in the investigation into the attack against her, but the judiciary has refused. Their direct involvement with the case has not been proven.
Milman has been investigated for statements he allegedly made that would implicate him in the assassination attempt. On September 23, 2022, an advisor to the ruling party in the Chamber of Deputies, Jorge Abello, testified that days before the attack, he overheard Milman —then-campaign head for Patricia Bullrich — telling two assistants: “When they kill her I’ll be on my way to the coast.” He has denied making the comments. In May, his former secretary Ivana Bohdziewicz gave testimony alleging that the contents of her phone had been wiped clean at offices belonging to Bullrich’s think tank.
In June, judge Capuchetti ruled that Uliarte, Sabag Montiel, and Nicolás Carrizo stand oral and public trial for their involvement in the case. The trio is dubbed the “Cotton Candy Gang” because they used to work selling cotton candy on the streets. Their investigation suggests they may have used the cotton candy cart to blend in with the crowds and get closer to Kirchner.
Uliarte claims to have never seen Milman but had heard he would pay people to take part in rallies around Kirchner’s home. “I’m not saying any of them paid for the [assassination attempt], but they did pay for agitators to go and create chaos,” she said.
They were charged with attempted murder and are being held in pre-trial detention. No trial date has been set yet.