Former president of Peru shoots himself in head as police close in

Clay Curtis
April 17, 2019

Garcia, who had repeatedly denied wrongdoing, was 69.

He said: 'Right now he's being operated on.

Garcia went into a coma after undergoing emergency surgery, local TV channel America reported. "Let's pray to God to give him strength", Reyna said in broadcast comments.

It broadcast images of Garcia's son and supporters arriving at the hospital.

Garcia was one of nine people a judge ordered to be arrested on Wednesday in connection with an investigation into bribes distributed by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company that triggered Latin America's biggest graft scandal when it admitted publicly in late 2016 that it had secured lucrative contracts across the region with bribes.

Garcia, who served as president from 1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011, is under investigation for bribery in connection with a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed a number of former Latin American leaders.

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Martin Vizcarra, who had been serving as Peru's ambassador to Canada, succeeded Kuczynski.

In November previous year, Garcia had requested asylum at the Uruguayan embassy after a judge banned him from leaving the country for 18 months.

- He stood accused of taking bribes from a Brasilian construction company known as Odebrecht during his second term in office.

Neighbouring South American nation Uruguay rejected his asylum plea late a year ago.

Odebrecht is accused of doling out almost $800 million in bribes between 2001 and 2016 to get contracts from governments to build roads, bridges, dams and highways.

Two other contracts reportedly involved the construction of a road linking Brazil and Peru during the government of former president Alejandro Toledo, between 2001 and 2006. Some of the bribes filtered through the United States. He was arrested last month for public drunkenness in northern California but released back into the community. He said that actions leading up to Garcia's arrest appeared to have been carried out irregularly.

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