Peru's ex-President Alan García shoots himself before arrest

Peru's ex-President Alan García shoots himself before arrest

Peru's former president has died after shooting himself in the head to avoid arrest over corruption allegations, said officials.

By Own Correspondent- "Alan Garcia has died, long live Apra", said Omar Quesada, the general secretary of Garcia's American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (Apra) party.

Peru's Health Ministry said Garcia was sent to Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital at 6.45am local time for a bullet wound to the head.

Earlier in the day, local TV broadcaster America reported that Garcia survived after the suicide attempt, though he was in critical condition and was undergoing emergency surgery.

"I am saddened by the death of former president Alan García", President Martin Vizcarra tweeted.

The attempted arrest took place at 06:30 (11:30 GMT) at Garcia's home in the upmarket Miraflores neighbourhood of Lima.

A Peruvian judge last week ordered Kuczynski's detention for 10 days as he investigates some $782,000 in previously undisclosed payments from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht more than a decade ago.

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Interior Minister Carlos Moran said at a news conference before Garcia died that the former president had told police he needed to call his lawyer after they arrived at his home in Lima to arrest him. The Uruguayan government denied the request in December.

Garcia denied ever receiving any money from Odebrecht and claimed he was the victim of false testimony by his political enemies.

Although under investigation by the public prosecutor's office, Garcia has not been charged with anything. Three other former Peruvian presidents - Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo - have been accused of a role in the scam.

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.

Authorities say Odebrecht officials shipped cash across the globe-from one shell bank account to the next-en route to politicians' pockets in a dozen countries, including Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Mozambique.

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