Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia committed suicide Wednesday in Lima just before his arrest as part of the Odebrecht corruption scandal, the latest dramatic rebound in this sprawling record splashing the Latin American political class.
“Alan Garcia is dead,” said Omar Quesada, general secretary of the party of the former leader.
Current Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said on Twitter “dismayed by the death of former President Alan Garcia, I convey my condolences to his family and loved ones,” he wrote. .
Mr. Garcia, who was 69 years old and who ruled the Andean country from 1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011, shot himself in the head when the police arrived at 6:30 local time (11:30 GMT). ) at his home in Lima to stop him.
Explaining that he was going to call his lawyer, “he went into his room and closed the door.A few minutes later, a shot was fired and (the police) found him sitting with a head wound” Interior Minister Carlos Moran said at a press conference.
The former president was then transferred to Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in the posh district of Miraflores where he died despite the efforts of the doctors.
The police came to arrest him and put him in custody for ten days at the request of justice in a suspected money-laundering case related to the Odebrecht scandal.
The Brazilian construction giant has distributed more than a decade a total of 788 million dollars in a dozen countries across the region to win contracts, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The company admitted to paying $ 29 million in bribes in Peru between 2005 and 2014.
- Four last presidents –
On Tuesday, Garcia said that this time he would not hide or seek asylum, in reference to his failed attempt in December. At the end of 2018, he had applied for asylum in Uruguay for 16 days at the country’s embassy in Lima. Montevideo rejected his application after examining his file.
The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office suspects Mr Garcia and 21 others that the Dutch company ATM Terminals has won a port concession in 2011 when he was president.
In recent weeks, the former leader had defended himself by saying “that there was no denunciation, evidence or transfer (money) that (would) relate to any wrongdoing let alone with the company Odebrecht where to one of its shipyards “.
Born in Lima in 1949 to a middle-class family and activists of APRA (Social Democratic Party), Alan Garcia became in 1978 the youngest elected deputy to the Constituent Assembly, then the youngest president of Peru , at age 36 in 1985. He was re-elected in 2006.
This colossus of 1.90 meters has long benefited from the aura of the political persecuted, acquired when, sought by the police of President Alberto Fujimori in 1992, he fled through the roofs of his house to reach the Colombian embassy. .
A refugee in Bogota for a time, he moved to France, where he completed part of his studies, completed in Madrid with a doctorate in law to become a lawyer.
Speaking French perfectly, Alan Garcia gets together in Paris with the family of President François Mitterrand and receives during his exile the support of the French Socialist Party.
In addition to Alan Garcia, three other former Peruvian presidents – Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018) are in the crosshairs of justice for the same Odebrecht affair.
Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was also remanded in custody on October 31 in this case.
On Wednesday, shortly after the announcement of the death of Alan Garcia, Mr. Kuczynski, 80 years in remand since April 20, was hospitalized urgently in intensive care for a problem of tension.