SANTIAGO – No traces of human blood were found on the knife allegedly used in an attack earlier this month on a Chilean senator running for re-election, the prosecutor directing the investigation said on Tuesday.
Fulvio Rossi was rushed to the hospital on Nov. 15, just four days before the vote, suffering from blows to the head with a blunt object and a stab wound in the abdomen.
He said he was accosted inside his campaign headquarters in the northern city of Iquique by a “black man with a Colombian accent.”
Rossi, a physician by profession who left the Socialist Party after being caught up in a campaign finance scandal, saw his bid to remain in the Senate as an independent go down to defeat on Nov. 19, when he garnered less than 25 percent of the vote.
The senator received expressions of sympathy and solidarity from across the political spectrum in the hours following the incident, but authorities’ failure to find any corroborating evidence has led some to suspect that Rossi staged the assault.
Political adversaries and pro-immigrant organizations suggest that Rossi’s description of the ostensible assailant as Colombian was calculated to reinforce his call for restrictions on immigration and his assertion that migrants “are part of organized crime.”
Rossi said after the incident that the attack was “an example of the level of crime the city is experiencing.”
Speaking to reporters, prosecutor Gonzalo Guerrero said that the knife found at the scene contained no traces of human blood and that a review of footage from more than 70 private and municipal security cameras in the area of the campaign headquarters turned up no images of anyone conforming to Rossi’s description of the suspect.
The next step will be to synchronize the footage from the various cameras in terms of chronology and location to ensure that nothing is missed, the prosecutor said.