Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Former Peru president, Alan Garcia, shoots himself

Alan Garcia was undergoing surgery to a bullet on his head but died in the process Alan Garcia was undergoing surgery to a bullet on his head but died in the process
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2019, 18:45

"This morning a dramatic accident took place: the president took the decision to shoot a bullet (in the head)", said his lawyer to journalists outside the hospital.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Alan Garcia, former Peru president, shoots himself".

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia shot himself in the head before police went to arrest him at his home amid allegations of taking bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

His lawyer, Erasmo Reyna, confirmed the shooting to local television outlet "N".

"He is in a critical condition", said Peru's health ministry.

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

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Garcia, a skilled orator who has led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, 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.

In a 2016 plea agreement with the US Justice Department, the Brazilian company admitted that it paid corrupt officials across Latin America almost $800million to secure major infrastructure contracts.

In November 2018, a judge banned Garcia from leaving the country prompting him to request asylum at the Uruguayan embassy - a request which was denied.

Garcia - a populist firebrand whose erratic first presidency in the 1980s was marked by hyperinflation and rampant corruption - was under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes during the construction of Lima's metro during his second government from 2006-2011.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's office said at the time it was aware that Toledo was wanted by Peruvian officials, but added that "the existence of charges in Peru alone does not authorize the subject's arrest in the United States".

Odebrecht has admitted that it paid $29million to Peruvian officials during three Presidential tenures, but Mr Garcia maintains his innocence and has slammed the inquiry as a political smear. Prosecutors are now seeking to extend Kuczynski's detention until he can be brought to trial.

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