Peru: Faced with arrest, former president shoots himself in the head, dies soon after

Peru’s former president Alan Garcia died on Wednesday after shooting himself in the head when the police tried to arrest him in connection with a multi-billion-dollar corruon scandal. Erasmo Reyna, Garcia’s lawyer, told local daily El Comercio that his client decided to kill himself after police officers arrived at his home in the capital, Lima.

Interior Minister Carlos Moran told the media that Garcia shut himself in his bedroom after telling police officers he was going to contact his advocate, The Guardian reported. Soon, Moran said, “a shot was heard”.

Garcia was rushed to hospital around 6.45 am local time (5.15 pm Indian Standard Time. Health Minister Zulema Tomas told the media before Garcia’s death that the former president was in a critical condition, as he had suffered three heart attacks. However, Garcia died soon after.

“I am saddened by the death of former president Alan García,” President Martin Vizcarra tweeted. “I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.”

The 69-year-old Garcia faced allegations that he took bribes from the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht during his second term from 2006 to 2011, to provide contracts across Latin America. Three other former Peruvian presidents – Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo – have been accused of a role in the scam.