Sat, 20 Jul 2019

Peru's Former President Alan Garcia Shoots Himself Before Arrest

Voice of America
18 Apr 2019, 04:09 GMT+10

LIMA, PERU - A lawyer for former Peruvian President Alan Garcia said Wednesday the leader shot himself before being detained by police amid allegations he received illegal payment from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Lawyer Erasmo Reyna confirmed the shooting to local television outlet N.

Judicial orders obtained by The Associated Press said an order for Garcia's arrest had been issued.

Peru's Health Ministry said Garcia was sent to Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital at 6:45 a.m. local for a bullet wound to the head.

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

It said his condition was delicate.

Garcia was under investigation for bribes allegedly paid during the construction of Lima's metro during his 2006-2011 government. He had denied ever receiving money from Odebrecht, which is at the center 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 nearly $800 million in exchange for major infrastructure contracts.

The scandal has led to the jailing of numerous politicians across the region, especially in Peru, where former President Pedro Pablo Kucyznski was detained just last week as part of a money laundering probe into his ties to the company.

Congressional allies of Kuczynski said he was also taken Tuesday night to a local clinic with high blood pressure.

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. A hearing is scheduled to take place Wednesday to decide whether to increase his detention to three years.

Garcia, 69, was a populist firebrand whose 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 he ran a more conservative government, helping usher in a commodities-led investment boom in which Odebrecht played a major supporting role.

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