Alan Garcia: Peru's former president shoots himself as police arrest him amid bribery claims

Lawyer says former leader's condition is 'delicate' and he is being operated on

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 17 April 2019 13:40
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Alan Garcia: Attorney gives statement after former Peruvian President shoots himself during bribery arrest

The former president of Peru has died after shooting himself in the head as police officers arrived at his home to arrest him in connection with a bribery investigation.

Alan Garcia was taken from his house in the capital Lima to the Casimiro Ulloa hospital where doctors provided cardiac resuscitation three times, health minister Zulema Tomas said.

The 69-year-old was under investigation for alleged money laundering and bribery crimes related to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.

Local TV channel America reported Mr Garcia went into a coma after undergoing emergency surgery and broadcast images of his son and supporters arriving at the hospital.

Peru’s Health Ministry said Mr Garcia was sent to Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital at 6:45am local time.

Outside the hospital, Peruvians gathered outside waiting for more information from doctors and officials.

Mr Garcia has led Peru’s once-powerful Apra party for decades, and governed Peru as a nationalist from 1985 to 1990 before remaking himself as a free-market proponent and winning a new five-year term in 2006.

Mr Garcia was under investigation in connection with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which triggered Latin America’s biggest graft scandal when it admitted publicly in 2016 that it won lucrative contracts in the region with bribes.

The company admitted in a 2016 plea agreement wiht the US Justice Department that it paid corrupt officials across Latin America nearly $800m (£613m) in exchange for major infrastructure contracts.

The scandal has led to the jailing of numerous politicians across the region, especially in Peru, where former president Pedro Pablo Kucyznski was detained last week as part of a money laundering probe into his ties to the company.

Congressional allies of Kuczynski said he was taken to a local clinic with high blood pressure on Tuesday night.

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Last year, Mr Garcia asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country to keep him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation. Uruguay rejected the request.

He repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

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