Alan Garcia dead: Who was former Peru president? Why has he died?

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Alan Garcia, 69, has died in a hospital in the Peruvian capital of Lima hours after shooting himself, authorities confirmed tonight. Peru’s health minister, Sulema Tomas, said Mr Garcia had suffered three cardiac arrests. He went into a coma after undergoing emergency surgery at Casimiro Ulloa hospital, according to local TV channel America. Current Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra tweeted: “Dismayed by the demise of former president Alan Garcia. I send my condolences to your family and loved ones.”

Who was former Alan Garcia? Why has he died?

Mr Garcia was President of Peru between 1985 and 1990, and again from 2006 to 2011.

The former South American leader shot himself early on Wednesday as police arrived at his home to arrest him in connection with a corruption scandal.

He was being investigated for allegedly receiving bribes from construction company Odebrecht during his second presidency in return for lucrative contracts.

Mr Garcia had denied all the allegations and claimed he was a victim of political persecution.

The day before his death, the former leader of the Peruvian Aprista Party said on broadcast television: “Others might sell out, not me.”

What happened?

Peru’s Interior Minister Carlos Mora said Mr Garcia had been told by police to call his attorney on their arrival but he locked himself away.

Mr Mora said: “He entered his room and closed the door behind him.Within a few minutes, a shot from a firearm was heard, and police forcibly entered the room and found Mr Garcia.”

Uruguay last year refused to offer Mr Garcia political asylum after he was ordered not to leave the country.

Had he been charged and prosecuted, he would have been the first former president in Peru to be imprisoned in the case.

The huge Odebrecht corruption scandal has resulted in several senior political officials across Latin America.

Mr Garcia, who was known to be a skilled orator, was a qualified lawyer.

His political career began in the late 1970s and he was elected Member of Congress in 1980.

The young left-winger became an advocate of free trade and foreign investment as his political career blossomed.

Mr Garcia leaves behind four children and wife Pilar Nores, from whom he has been separated since 2011.

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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