Peru’s former president Alan Garcia denies corruption charges in suicide note
Peru’s late former president Alan Garcia left a suicide note denying the corruption charges against him before taking his own life, one of his children revealed on Friday.
Garcia, who was 69, died on Wednesday after shooting himself in the head when police came to his home to arrest him over allegations of money laundering during his time in office.
“I’ve seen others paraded in handcuffs and living a miserable existence, but Alan Garcia will not suffer such an injustice or circus,” he wrote in the note to his six children read out at his funeral by his sobbing daughter Luciana.
He was one of four former Peru presidents embroiled in various corruption scandals.
“There was never nor will there be an (hidden) account, or bribe, or (illicit) wealth – history is worth more than any material wealth,” he said.
Garcia served two terms as president from 1985-90 and 2006-11 during a controversial political career that lasted four decades, in which he seemed obsessed with the legacy he would leave.
“I fulfilled my political duty and in the public projects that benefitted the people I achieved the goals that other people and governments failed in. I don’t have to accept humiliations,” he wrote.
“I leave to my children the dignity of my decisions, to my colleagues a signal of pride, and my body as a sign of my contempt for my opponents because I already fulfilled the mission given to me.”
Social democrat Garcia accused authorities of using corruption investigations as a tool for “humiliation, harassment and not to find truths.”
The son of political activists added: “Others sell themselves, but not me.”
Police arrived at Garcia’s home in the upmarket Miraflores neighborhood of Lima on Wednesday morning with an arrest warrant to take him into custody for a preliminary period of 10 days, which would have given authorities time to gather evidence and prevent him from fleeing.
Last year he fled to the Uruguayan embassy after a court ordered him not to leave the country for 18 months, unsuccessfully applying for asylum during his 16-day stay.
He was suspected of having taken bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in return for large-scale public works contracts.
Prosecutors allege that Garcia and 21 other officials conspired to enable Dutch company ATM Terminals to win a 2011 concession to operate a terminal at the port of Callao, near Lima.
Peruvian press reports also claim Garcia received a $100,000 payment from an illicit Odebrecht fund for giving a speech to Brazilian business leaders in Sao Paulo in May 2012.