Peru’s former president, Alan Garcia, died in hospital on Wednesday after shooting himself in the head at his home as police were about to arrest him in a sprawling corruption case, a party official said.
“Alan Garcia has died, long live Apra,” said Omar Quesada, the general secretary of Garcia’s American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (Apra) party.
Garcia was resuscitated three times after suffering cardiac arrest while undergoing emergency surgery, before finally succumbing, Peru’s Health Minister Zulema Tomas had said.
The Casimiro Ulloa Emergency Hospital in Lima earlier confirmed he had suffered “a bullet wound to his head.”
“This morning, there was a regrettable accident: the president took the decision to shoot himself,” Erasmo Reyna, Garcia’s lawyer, told reporters outside the hospital after he was admitted.
The attempted arrest took place at 6:30 am (1130 GMT) at Garcia’s home in Lima’s upmarket Miraflores neighbourhood.
Garcia, who was president from 1985-90 and again from 2006-11, was one of nine people a judge had ordered to be arrested on Wednesday for alleged involvement in bribes distributed by Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company that triggered Latin America’s biggest graft scandal when it admitted in 2016 that it had paid kickbacks to politicians across the region to secure lucrative contracts.
While three former presidents in Peru have also been ordered to jail in connection with Odebrecht, Garcia had blamed his legal troubles on political persecution, accusing President Martin Vizcarra without evidence of trying to silence him.