Alan Garcia, the former president of Peru, has died after shooting himself in the head as police came to arrest him in connection with a corruption probe.
Current president Martinez Vizcarra said the 69-year-old former head of state died on Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery at the Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Peru’s capital.
Mr Garcia, who was under investigation in a bribery scandal that has ensnared several Latin American leaders, was admitted at 6.45 am local time for a bullet wound to the head Peru’s Health Ministry said.
He underwent emergency surgery but later died from his injuries.
Prosecutors said they believed Mr Garcia received more than $100,000 from construction firm Odebrecht, disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil.
The Brazilian company is at the center of Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal after admitting in a 2016 plea agreement with the US Justice Department that it paid corrupt officials across Latin America nearly $800 million in exchange for major infrastructure contracts.
Mr Garcia had denied any wrong doing and claimed the allegations against him were politically motivated. When police arrived at his residence to arrest him on Wednesday morning, the former president shut himself in his room and attempted to take his own life, according to local TV show ‘Hablemos Claro’.
The populist firebrand served two terms in office. His erratic first presidency in the 1980s was marked by hyperinflation, rampant corruption and the rise of the Shining Path guerrilla movement.
When he returned to power two decades later, Mr Garcia ran a more conservative government, helping usher in a commodities-led investment boom in which Odebrecht played a major supporting role.
The Odebrecht scandal has led to the jailing of several high profile politicians across the region, especially in Peru. Just last week another former president, Pedro Pablo Kucyznski, was arrested as part of a money laundering investigation into his ties to the company.
Mr Kuczynski also admitted to a clinic on Tuesday night and treated for high blood pressure, according to his allies.
A judge last week ordered Mr Kuczynski to be detained for 10 days as he investigates some $782,000 in previously undisclosed payments from Odebrecht reaching back to more than a decade ago. A hearing is scheduled to take place Wednesday to decide whether to increase his detention to three years.
Credit: The Telegraph
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