Peru ex-president Garcia shoots himself as police try to arrest him

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia

She said he was in "very critical" condition.

"Let's pray to God to give him strength", Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told journalists at the hospital, as Garcia's supporters chanted slogans in support.

Former president of Peru Alan Garcia arrives to the National Prosecution office to testify in Odebrecht case in Lima, Peru February 16, 2017.

Garcia, who served as president from 1985 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2011, is under investigation for bribery in connection with a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed a number of former Latin American leaders.

Judicial orders obtained by The Associated Press said an order for Garcia's arrest had been issued.

Mr Garcia was under investigation in connection with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which triggered Latin America's biggest graft scandal when it admitted publicly in 2016 that it won lucrative contracts in the region with bribes.

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The San Mateo County Sheriff's office said at the time it was aware that Toledo was wanted by Peruvian officials, but added that "the existence of charges in Peru alone does not authorize the subject's arrest in the United States". He denied any wrongdoing.

Garcia had been undergoing surgery after the incident at a clinic near his home in Lima, Radio Programas reported. "Within a few minutes, a shot from a firearm was heard, and police forcibly entered the room and found Mr. Garcia sitting with a wound in his head".

The former president was under investigation on suspicion of taking a bribe from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

In November 2018, a judge banned Garcia from leaving the country prompting him to request asylum at the Uruguayan embassy - a request which was denied.

Neighbouring South American nation Uruguay rejected his asylum plea late previous year.

Mr Garcia, a skilled orator who has led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, served as the country's president twice. Prosecutors are now seeking to extend Kuczynski's detention until he can be brought to trial.

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