ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images
- Alan García, the former president of Peru, is in critical condition after shooting himself as police came to arrest him over bribery allegations.
- García is accused of receiving bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company, for a train construction project in Lima during his tenure. He denies those claims.
- Odebrecht pleaded guilty to paying officials across Latin America $788 million in exchange for lucrative infrastructure deals. The US Justice Department in 2016 called it the "largest foreign bribery case in history."
Peru’s former president shot himself in the neck as officers came to arrest him over bribery allegations on Wednesday morning, Agence France-Presse reported, citing his lawyer.
Alan García shot himself before being detained by police, The Associated Press (AP) reported. He is now in critical condition in hospital in Lima, the Peruvian capital, the BBC reported.
He was taken there at 6:45 a.m. local time, and taken into emergency surgery at 7:10 a.m., Peru’s health ministry said in a statement carried by the Perú.21 newspaper.
Neurosurgeons, medical specialists, and neurologists are all operating on him, Peruvian Health Minister Zulema Tomás told a Wednesday press conference. She added García had received CPR three times, though she didn’t say whether they took place before or during surgery.
"The situation is very critical and very grave," she added.
Staff at the José Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Lima declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
White House / Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons
García — who served as president from 1985 to 1990, and from 2006 to 2011 — is accused of taking bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company, for a train construction project in Lima.
He denies ever having received money from Odebrecht.
In 2016, Odebrecht pleaded guilty to paying officials across Latin America $788 million in exchange for lucrative infrastructure deals.
The US Justice Department, which made the charges, called Odebrecht’s misdeeds the "largest foreign bribery case in history" at the time.
Pedro Pablo Kucyznski, another former Peruvian president, was detained last week as part of a money laundering investigation into his ties to Odebrecht. Investigators found $782,000 in previously undisclosed payments from the Brazilian company more than a decade ago, the AP reported.
García was banned from leaving the country while the bribery investigation was ongoing. He requested asylum in the Uruguayan embassy in Lima last year, but Uruguay’s government refused his request.
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