Peru’s two-time ex-president shoots himself in the neck during bribery arrest

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Peru’s two-time ex-president shoots himself in the neck during bribery arrest

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Updated

April 18, 2019 02:05:13

Peru’s former president Alan Garcia has died after he shot himself early on Wednesday after police arrived at his home in the capital Lima to arrest him in connection with a bribery investigation, a police source said.

Key points:

  • Mr Garcia was president from 1985 – 1990, and again from 2006 – 2011
  • He was under investigation in connection with a Brazilian construction company
  • He asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country

Mr Garcia was 69.

He underwent emergency surgery at the Casimiro Ulloa hospital and suffered three cardiac arrests, Health Minister Zulema Tomas said in broadcast comments.

President Martin Vizcarra said on Twitter that he was “consternated” by Mr Garcia’s death, and sent his condolences to his family members.

Mr Garcia was initially reported to be in a “very critical” condition in hospital.

Local TV channel America broadcast images of Mr Garcia’s son, supporters and lawmakers entering the hospital, where police in riot gear stood by.

“Let’s pray to God to give him strength,” Erasmo Reyna, Mr Garcia’s lawyer said prior to his death.

Mr Garcia, a skilled orator who led Peru’s once-powerful Apra party for decades, served as the country’s president twice.

He governed as a nationalist from 1985 to 1990 before remaking himself as a free-market proponent and winning another five-year term in 2006 until 2011.

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

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.

Mr Garcia repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

One unnamed supporter described the case against Mr Garcia as “political persecution”.

“Prosecutors are allied with the government, we [Peru] look like Stalin’s Soviet Union in its persecution of political adversaries,” he said.

“We want democracy, a rule of law. We want there to be due process.

“The only clean president in Peru is president Alan Garcia. He is not for sale.”

Reuters

Topics:

world-politics,

law-crime-and-justice,

corruption,

bribery,

peru,

uruguay,

brazil

First posted

April 18, 2019 01:05:03

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