LIMA, Peru — Officials say former Peruvian President Alan García is dead after shooting himself in the head as police came to detain him in connection with a corruption probe.
Current President Martinez Vizcarra said the 69-year-old head of state died Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery at the José Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Peru’s capital.
Garcia was a populist firebrand who twice ruled Peru and more recently was under investigation related to Latin America’s largest graft probe.
Prosecutors said they believed the former president received more than $100,000 from Odebrecht, disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil.
Garcia professed his innocence and said he was being targeted politically.
Health Minister Zulema Tomás said doctors provided cardiac resuscitation three times and were proceeding to operate on the 69-year-old former head of state at the José Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in Peru’s capital city of Lima.
Local television program ‘Hablemos Claro’ reported that when police arrived to García’s residence to arrest him, the ex-president shut himself in his room and attempted to take his life.