Wed | May 22, 2019

Ex-Peru president commits suicide as police tried to arrest him

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 2:52 PM
Peru's police officers stand guard at the emergency hospital Casimiro Ulloa where former Peruvian President Alan Garcia was taken after he shot himself in his neck, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Garcia shot himself before being detained by police. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Former Peruvian President Alan García shot himself in the head and died Wednesday moments after police arrived at his home to arrest him on corruption allegations in Latin America’s largest graft probe.

President Martin Vizcarra announced the death on Twitter, saying that doctors in the capital city of Lima performed emergency surgery and tried three times to resuscitate Garcia.

It was a shocking end for a man who twice ruled Peru before becoming ensnared more recently in the corruption scandal involving the construction giant Odebrecht.

The scandal has touched nearly every living former president.

When they arrived, police found García on the second floor of his home, a leafy mansion in the city’s Miraflores district.

He asked for a moment to call his lawyer, entered a bedroom and closed the door behind him, Interior Minister Carlos Morán said.

“Minutes later, the sound of gunfire was heard,” Morán said.

“Police forced their way into the room and found him.”

Prosecutors suspect the former president received more than $100,000 from Odebrecht, disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil.

García repeatedly professed his innocence and said he was the victim of false testimony by political enemies who accused him of taking more than $100,000 from the company. 

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