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News > Peru

Former Peruvian President Garcia Laid to Rest After Suicide

  • Friends and family carry the coffin of Peru's former President Garcia during the last of three days of national mourning Friday.

    Friends and family carry the coffin of Peru's former President Garcia during the last of three days of national mourning Friday. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 April 2019

In the last of three days of national mourning, the former president Alan Garcia's body has been laid to rest and prosecutors are still after former leader PPK.

The body of former Peruvian President Alan Garcia was put to rest Friday in a funeral service. The ex-leader commit suicide Wednesday as officials were in the process of arresting him on corruption charges at his home.


Peru's Ex-President Alan Garcia Dies After Shooting Himself Prior to Arrest

On Thursday, thousands of Peruvians said goodbye to the ex-president in Lima in the second of three days of national mourning declared by President Martin Vizcarra who also ordered flags to be flown at half mast at the country's Congress and other public buildings to honor the ex-president and former lawmaker.

Garcia had dismissed the allegations of corruption against him levered in 2016 for siphoning off some US$20 million in kickbacks from the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, in exchange for major construction projects. While he had been questioned in 2017, Peru's state prosecutors had gathered enough evidence to secure a judicial order this week to hold Garcia in pre-trial detention while they prepared charges against him.

Garcia, 69, shot himself in the head with a firearm while police were waiting in a separate room of his home as they were in the process of arresting the two-time president in connection to the Odebrecht scandal. He was immediately taken to the Casimiro Ulloa hospital where he underwent emergency surgery before going into a coma. He was pronounced dead hours later, local TV channel America reported.

Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani (R), Pilar Nores (C), former wife of Peru's former President Alan Garcia,and others gather near Garcia's coffin. | Source: Reuters

Officials now want to investigate prosecutors Jose Domingo Perez and Henry Amenabar who are leading Peru's massive investigation into the Odebrecht corruption scandal within the country, over an alleged administrative infraction that occurred during the search and preliminary detention of Garcia.

Garcia was one of nine people a judge had ordered to be arrested Wednesday for alleged involvement in Odebrecht bribes in Peru. In 2016 it was revealed that the construction company had spearheaded decades of kickbacks to politicians across the Latin America to secure lucrative contracts.

Among the others that Perez is hoping to put under arrest or house arrest is another former president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK).

Prosecutor Perez requested Thursday a 36-month preventive detention against Kuczynski for allegedly accepting nearly US$1 million from Odebrecht.

He had been arrested April 10 for allegedly receiving unlawful payments but was hospitalized in Lima Tuesday for heart problems and is in intensive care after having undergone a heart catheterization.

Police officers stand guard outside Kuczynski's home after a judge ordered a ten-days detention connected to a money-laundering probe. | Source: Reuters

The prosecutor requested a medical report to ensure whether Kuczynski’s medical matter constituted a serious illness, incurable or permanent physical incapacity. According to the report, his health is stable though he will need to continue treatment for arterial hypertension. If his condition were worse, Perez had considered an alternative option of house arrest.

Kuczynski, who occupied the presidency from 2016 to 2018, is being investigated for receiving several contributions from the Brazilian company Odebrecht during and after the time he served as Peru's Economic Minister in the Alejandro Toledo administration (2001-2006).

Kuczynski's lawyer, Cesar Nakazaki, told reporters that "all the evidence shows in this case, more than in any other, that there were no payments through box two, (but) all payments were from legal operations." 

Kuczynski allegedly used the money to cover personal expenses, including the purchase of his house in the Lima residential district of San Isidro and for credit card payments.

In Peru, criminal suspects can be ordered to spend up to three years in jail before trial if prosecutors can show they have evidence that may lead to a conviction, the suspect may flee the country, or try to interfere in the investigation.

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