Peru’s ex-president dead after shooting himself during attempted arrest over corruption probe

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia Credit: AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File

Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia has died after shooting himself moments after police attempted to detain him amid corruption allegations.

President Martin Vizcarra announced on Twitter Garcia died after undergoing emergency surgery hours earlier.

Doctors at the Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital in the capital city of Lima said they provided cardiac resuscitation three times while trying to save his life.

"Distraught over the death of ex-president Alan Garcia," Mr Vizcarra wrote.

"I send my condolences to his family and loved ones."

The 69-year-old former head of state's lawyer accused authorities of neglecting to provide Garcia information on why he was being detained or show their official identifications when they showed up to arrest him.

The stunning turn of events comes four months after Garcia tried to seek asylum in Uruguay as prosecutors in Peru investigated allegations he illegally took payments from Odebrecht. He remained there for a little more than two weeks before having his request denied.

In rejecting his claim, the South American nation's embassy said there was no evidence to support Garcia's contention he was being targeted politically.

Garcia was a populist firebrand who twice ruled Peru and more recently was under investigation related to Latin America’s largest corruption probe.

Prosecutors said they believed the former president received more than 100,000 US dollars (£76,000) from Odebrecht - a large South American business conglomerate - disguised as a payment to speak at a conference in Brazil.