Peru’s ex-president Alan Garcia has died after shooting himself as police arrived to arrest him in a bribery probe, law enforcement sources say.
He was taken to hospital in a critical condition in Lima but later died as emergency services were unable to stabilise his gunshot wound.
According to local reports “This morning a dramatic accident took place: the president took the decision to shoot a bullet (in the head),” his lawyer, Erasmo Reyna, told journalists outside the hospital.
Interior Minister Carlos Morán told reporters that when police arrived, Mr Garcia asked to make a phone call and went into a room and closed the door.
Minutes later, a shot rang out, Mr Morán said. Police forced the door open and found Mr Garcia sitting on a chair with a bullet wound to his head.
Investigators say he took bribes from Odebrecht during his second term in office, linked to a metro line building project in the capital.
Odebrecht is a Brazilian construction firm, who has admitted paying almost $30m (£23m) in bribes in Peru since 2004.
But Mr García says he is the victim of political persecution, writing in a tweet on Tuesday that there is “no clue or evidence” against him.
The 69-year-old was president of Peru from 1985 to 1990 and again between 2006 and 2011.
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