LIMA – The life of Alan Garcia ended on Wednesday plagued by corruption accusations after 35 years as a protagonist in Peruvian politics.
Garcia died in a hospital in Lima from a gunshot wound to the head that he inflicted upon himself as he was about to be arrested by the police over allegations of money laundering.
Born on May 23, 1949, Alan Gabriel Ludwig Garcia Perez graduated in law from the University of San Marcos in Lima and received a doctorate at the Complutense University of Madrid.
He returned to Peru in 1978 and joined the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Magna Carta of 1979, was the deputy for Lima and in 1982 secretary general of the Peruvian Aprista Party, which launched his candidacy for the presidency in 1985.
His first government (1985-1990) was considered disastrous by most Peruvians, due to the deep economic crisis and the onslaught of the Shining Path terrorist group.
By the age of 36, he had earned the nickname “Crazy Horse.”
Under his mandate there was the massacre of more than 200 prisoners in three prisons in Lima, in 1986, in response to a riot of suspected terrorists.
In 1987 he tried to nationalize the bank, which generated a wave of protests led by writer and future Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
Three years later, the country’s economy collapsed, inflation exceeded 7,000 percent per year and Garcia’s political figure was totally discredited.
In 1992 he took refuge in the Embassy of Colombia in Lima after being accused of illicit enrichment and having ordered a massacre of prisoners.
From there he went into exile, first to Colombia and then to France, where he remained until 2001 when the Supreme Court of Peru declared those crimes prescribed, for which he was never tried.
Nevertheless, he was reelected in 2006 and made a radical ideological turn from the left to an economic and social right stance.
In 2016, when applying for a third term, Garcia only won five percent of the votes, which led him to resign his position in PAP and move to Spain.
The ex-president’s situation came to a head in November last year, when he visited his native country to participate in a meeting with the Prosecutor’s Office to be questioned in a corruption investigation.
There he found he was under investigation for corruption over alleged payments made to him by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
The 69-year-old died Wednesday at a Lima hospital while undergoing surgery after shooting himself as police arrived at his home to arrest him in connection with the corruption case.