Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner lashed out at US plots to kill her in a conspiracy theory rant as the South American country's economy lurches into another default under her rule.
President Kirchner alleged not only that murky domestic interests were conspiring to oust her and derail the struggling Argentine economy, but also that she is the target of plots to kill her, invoking a range of nebulous would-be assassins from the Islamic State to Washington's high command.
"If something should happen to me, don't look to the Middle East, look to the North," Kirchner said in a 45-minute televised speech. She also alluded to an alleged plot against her by local bankers and businessmen "with foreign help".
"When you see what has been coming out of diplomatic offices, they had better not come in here and try to sell some tall tale about Isis trying to track me down so they can kill me," she said.
"Exporters who have lost money have Argentina in a vice. So do the car company executives who tell consumers they have no inventory when they do. What they are all waiting for is a devaluation."
Kirchner's outburst drew criticism from her rivals, with opposition presidential candidate Elisa Carrió calling her "completely out of touch with reality".
"Since she doesn't resist reality, with unemployment, high inflation, the rising dollar, she says it's no longer Isis trying to kill her, but the US," said Carrió.
"She's inventing conspiracies," she stated.
Argentina has been plunged back into choppy economic waters, culminating in a default on its debt obligations, thanks to an ongoing legal dispute involving a group of US bond holders.
These "hold-out" investors, mostly large hedge funds that specialise in distressed debt, have been dubbed "vulture funds". They are demanding full payment after putatively buying up debt on the cheap from the South American country when it was last on its knees back in 2001.
The dispute has threatened to escalate into some sort of diplomatic incident as Argentina has attempted to side-step the rulings of the federal judge overseeing the case, US District Judge Thomas Griesa, who recently declared the country in contempt of court.
"I'm not naive; this is not an isolated move by a senile judge in New York. Because vultures look a lot like the eagles of empires," said Kirchner.