Peru’s former president Alan García has died after deliberately shooting himself in the head when police tried to arrest him in connection with a multibillion-dollar Latin American corruption scandal.
“I am saddened by the death of former president Alan García,” tweeted the country’s current president, Martín Vizcarra, confirming the news. “I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Earlier, García’s lawyer, Erasmo Reyna, told local media his client “took the decision to shoot himself” early on Wednesday after officers arrived at his home in the capital, Lima, to place him under preventive detention.
Peru’s interior minister, Carlos Morán, told journalists García had told police officers he was going to call his lawyer and had “shut himself in his bedroom” before a shot was heard.
The 69-year-old politician – who faced accusations of taking bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht during his 2006-2011 presidency – was admitted to a nearby hospital soon after, at about 6.45am, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.
Before his death was confirmed Peru’s health minister, Zulema Tomás, told reporters García was in a “very serious” condition and had suffered three heart attacks from which he had been resuscitated. A 27-strong medical team, including neurosurgeons and intensive care specialists, was fighting to save the former president’s life.
Gun, head, self, not instant. But, you know, efficiency of politicians and all that.