Former Peru president Alan Garcia dies after shooting himself to avoid arrest

PERU-BRAZIL-ODEBRECHT-CORRUPTION-GARCIA

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia shot himself in the head before police went to arrest him at his home amid allegations of taking bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

"Devastated by the death of former President Alan Garcia, I send my condolences to his family and loved ones", Vizcarra wrote.

Peru's last five ex-presidents have all served jail time or are under investigation for corruption.

Prosecutors say Garcia took bribes from Odebrecht in exchange for a lucrative public transport contract in Lima.

Prosecutors said they believed the former president received more than $100,000 in bribes from Odebrecht, a huge Brazilian conglomerate, disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil.

"The president, upset over this situation, knowing his absolute innocence ... had this bad accident", attorney Erasmo Reyna said.

"He entered his room and closed the door behind him", Moran said.

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

The 69-year old somehow survived the suicide attempt and was rushed to the Casimiro Ulloa hospital in Peru's capital Lima.

Peru's Health Minister Zulema Tomas said Garcia was in a "very critical and very serious" condition. The Uruguayan government denied the request in December.

Last year, Garcia asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country to keep him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's office said at the time it was aware that Toledo was wanted by Peruvian officials, but added that "the existence of charges in Peru alone does not authorize the subject's arrest in the United States".

Peru has gone further than any other country outside Brazil in prosecuting politicians tied to the Odebrecht probe.

The corruption scandal - one of the biggest in modern history - implicated several former Latin American presidents.

Congressional allies of Kuczynski said he was also taken Tuesday night to a local clinic with high blood pressure.

When he returned to power two decades later he ran a more conservative government, helping usher in a commodities-led investment boom in which Odebrecht played a major supporting role.

Judicial orders obtained by The Associated Press said an order for Garcia's arrest had been issued.

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