Peru's ex-president Alan Garcia dead after shooting himself when police tried to arrest him

Garcia was under investigation in connection with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which triggered Latin America's biggest graft scandal when it admitted publicly in 2016 that it won lucrative contracts in the region with bribes.
Image: Peruvian President Alan Garcia takes questions at a news conference on July 5, 2006.
Peruvian President Alan Garcia takes questions at a news conference in 2006. Mauricio Duenas / AFP-Getty Images file

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By Reuters

LIMA — Peru's former president Alan Garcia died in a hospital in Lima on Wednesday after shooting himself as police arrived at his house to arrest him in connection with a bribery probe, authorities said Wednesday.

Garcia, who had repeatedly denied wrongdoing, was 69.

President Martin Vizcarra said on Twitter that he was "consternated" by Garcia's death, and sent his condolences to his family members.

Garcia, a skilled orator who had led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, governed as a nationalist from 1985 to 1990 before remaking himself as a free-market proponent and winning another five-year term in 2006.

He was under investigation in connection with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which triggered Latin America’s biggest graft scandal when it admitted in 2016 that it used bribes to win lucrative contracts in the region.

Last year, Garcia asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country to keep him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation. Uruguay rejected the request.