Photo taken from a video provided by Peruvian officials on April 22, 2019, showing former President Alan Garcia in his home in Lima speaking with police – who had arrived to arrest him – a few moments before he committed suicide on April 17.
LIMA – Peruvian Interior Minister Carlos Moran rejected on Monday questions about the way in which police tried to arrest late President Alan Garcia and said that there was no “police negligence or abuse” in the operation.
“We, as a government, have to emphasize that there was no police negligence or abuse, but rather that a protocol established in law ... and a judicial ruling were rigorously complied with,” Moran told reporters.
Opposition politicians and associates of Garcia have linked his suicide to the way in which the Attorney General’s Office and the police acted upon arriving at his home to arrest him, whereupon Garcia took his own life by shooting himself in the head with a pistol.
Moran said that there was a great deal of caution about entering the home of Garcia, who was being investigated for alleged crimes of corruption linked to the Odebrecht bribery scandal, and the protocol established for such cases was implemented and followed.
He said that the prosecutor conversed with Garcia as he approached a staircase, but thereafter the former president “by his own decision returned to his room and the incident that today we all regret occurred.”
The minister also rejected claims by relatives of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was remanded to prison, that police tried to shackles on the bed he occupied in a Lima clinic, where he is being treated for cardiac problems.
“The police have emphatically denied that they had tried to place – or had placed – security shackles on the former president,” said Moran before adding that “it’s common sense that nobody and no police officer can enter the intensive care unit.”
An investigation into the Odebrecht bribery scandal in Peru was first launched by investigating former President Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), after which the firm’s former executives admitted in US court that they delivered huge bribes to Peruvian politicians and former officials between 2005 and 2014.
Besides Garcia, Kuczynski and Toledo, the Peruvian Attorney General’s Office is investigating ex-President Ollanta Humala (2011-2016), opposition leader Keiko Fujimori and former leftist Lima Mayor Susana Villaran.
Garcia’s remains were cremated last Friday in Lima at a private ceremony in which only his relatives and closest political allies participated.
The 69-year-old Garcia, who governed Peru from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011, died last Wednesday at Lima’s Casimiro Ulloa Hospital after shooting himself when police came to his home to take him into custody.
His family rejected the government’s offer of a state funeral for the former head of state, and instead, Garcia’s casket lay in state at the headquarters of the Peruvian Aprista Party.
His daughter Luciana said that while her father left no instructions for his funeral, she was certain he would have wanted the wake to be held at the PAP’s House of the People, “with all of his comrades.”
In a final letter penned before killing himself, Garcia denounced what he called politically motivated attempts to charge him with crimes.