US & World

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


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Reuters

Peru’s former President Alan García has shot himself in the neck as police came to arrest him, media reports and police sources say.

Officers took him to Casimiro Ulloa hospital in the capital, Lima, where he is in a serious condition, the reports say.

Mr García is accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht – claims he denies.

Officers had been sent to arrest him in connection with the allegations.

Mr García served as president from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011.

Investigators say he took kickbacks from Odebrecht during his second term in office, linked to a metro line building project in the capital.

Odebrecht has admitted paying almost $30m (£23m) in bribes in Peru since 2004.

But Mr García says he is the victim of political persecution.

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Reuters

Image caption

Mr García denies the allegations against him

Peru’s four most recent presidents are all being investigated for alleged corruption, with a fifth – Alberto Fujimori – serving a prison sentence for corruption and human rights abuses.

Ex-leader Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was hospitalised with high blood pressure on Wednesday just days after his own arrest in connection with Odebrecht charges.

And the current leader of the opposition, Keiko Fujimori, is also in pre-trial detention on charges of taking $1.2m (£940,000) in bribes from Odebrecht.

In October, an opinion poll by Datum showed 94% of Peruvians believed the level of corruption was either high or very high in their country.

The scandal embroiling Peru’s presidents

  • Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in office 2016-2018, resigned over a vote-buying scandal and detained last week
  • Ollanta Humala, in office 2011-2016, accused of taking bribes from Odebrecht to bankroll his election campaign, in pre-trial detention in Peru
  • Alan García, in office 2006-2011, suspected of taking kickbacks from Odebrecht, sought asylum in Uruguay’s Lima embassy but had his request denied
  • Alejandro Toledo, in office 2001-2006, accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from Odebrecht, currently a fugitive in the US



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