Alan Garcia, former Peru president, shoots himself

17 April, 2019, 18:43 | Author: Wade Massey
  • In this file image former Peruvian president Alan Garcia speaks to the media as he arrives at the National Prosecution office in Lima Peru in March 2018

Former president of Peru Alan Garcia arrives to the National Prosecution office to testify in Odebrecht case in Lima, Peru February 16, 2017.

Peru's former president Alan Garcia 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.

"He is in a delicate condition and the prognosis is reserved", added the health ministry, which said the bullet went straight through Garcia's head.

"At this moment, the patient has been in an operating room at said hospital since 7:10 a.m.", the ministry said.

"Let's pray to God to give him strength", Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told journalists at the hospital, as Garcia's supporters chanted slogans in support.

Garcia was arrested amid allegations he received illegal payment from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

"Others might sell out, not me", Garcia said in broadcast comments on Tuesday, repeating a phrase he has used frequently as his political foes became ensnared in the Odebrecht investigation.

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Mr Garcia served two terms as president of Peru, the first from 1985 to 1990 and the second between 2006 and 2011.

He had denied ever receiving money from Odebrecht, which is at the centre of Latin America's biggest corruption scandal after admitting in a 2016 plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that it paid corrupt officials across Latin America almost $800 million in exchange for major infrastructure contracts.

He is now under investigation after allegedly accepting bribes from Brazilian construction titan Odebrecht in return for contracts during his most recent spell in office.

Mr Garcia has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

In November he sought refuge in the Uruguayan Embassy and applied for asylum but he left the next month after it was denied.

Mr Garcia, a skilled orator who has led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, served as the country's president twice. He said that actions leading up to Garcia's arrest appeared to have been carried out irregularly. Prosecutors are now seeking to extend Kuczynski's detention until he can be brought to trial.

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