Peru ex-president Garcia shoots himself as police try to arrest him

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia SHOOTS HIMSELF moments after arrest

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia, under investigation in a corruption scandal, reportedly shot himself early Tuesday as police arrived at his home.

Peru's ex-president Alan Garcia shot himself as police arrived to arrest him in a bribery probe, according to a law enforcement source quoted by Reuters news agency.

"He is in a delicate condition and the prognosis is reserved", added the health ministry, which said the bullet went straight through Garcia's head.

'At this moment, the patient has been in an operating room at said hospital since 7.10am, ' the ministry said.

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.

Local TV channel America reported Garcia was undergoing emergency surgery and was in critical condition.

"Let's pray to God to give him strength", Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told journalists at the hospital, as Garcia's supporters chanted slogans in support.

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Corruption cases have reached the highest levels in Peru politics, most notably involving officials and Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant that has admitted to spreading some $800 million United States in bribes to officials across Latin America, including $29 million in Peru.

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.

Garcia would have been the third former president in Peru to have been jailed in the Odebrecht case. "He's had three cardiac arrests", said Tomas.

Mr Garcia has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

In November 2018, a judge banned Garcia from leaving the country prompting him to request asylum at the Uruguayan embassy - a request which was denied.

The current leader of the opposition, Keiko Fujimori - who is the daughter of Alberto Fujimori - is also in pre-trial detention on charges of taking $1.2 million in bribes from Odebretch.


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