A New Zealand tourist, aged in his early 30s, was killed today while visiting the Parque General San Martín, in the city of Mendoza, around 1,000km west of Buenos Aires.
The man was shot at least twice, in the chest and neck, while on the ground after two men on a motorbike attempted to rob his backpack. He died at the scene.
Local police had initially said the man was Australian, though this was later rejected by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand said in a statement that it was aware of the “sad occurrence” and that embassy staff in Buenos Aires were working with local authorities to find out more about the incident.
The victim, who has yet to be formally identified, was with two other travellers – an Australian woman and a French man – at the time. Neither were physically harmed in the attack, and gave statements to police. The three had arrived from Bariloche in Patagonia on Saturday, and were staying at the Itaka Hostel in Mendoza.
Local press report that the incident occurred near the entrance to the Malvinas Argentinas stadium, at around 3.40pm. The area is near the popular tourist attraction, Cerro de la Gloria.
Mendoza police chief Juan Caleri said the force has launched a search for the suspects, identified by witnesses as two young males. Caleri confirmed to state news agency Télam that police are offering a reward of $40,000 for specific information about the perpetrators.
The investigation is being led by prosecutor Santiago Garay.