Suicide Expressed Contempt for Leader's Enemies: Family

Former president of Peru killed himself as arrest neared
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2019 8:30 AM CDT
Cadaver Is 'a Sign of Contempt' for Peruvian Leader's Enemies
People carry the coffin of Peru's late President Alan Garcia during his funeral procession in Lima, Peru on Friday.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

"I will not be humiliated," Alan Garcia, a former president of Peru, wrote in what his family says was a suicide note. Garcia shot himself in the head as police arrived at his home to arrest him in a corruption investigation. "I have seen others paraded around in handcuffs," Reuters reports his daughter read Friday at a wake for her father, who added that he would not "suffer such injustices." Garcia had said the investigation was politically motivated. "I leave to my children the dignity of my decisions; to my friends, my pride, and to my enemies, my cadaver as a sign of my contempt for them," his daughter read. Crowds of mourners carried Garcia's coffin through the streets of Lima on the last of three days of national mourning.

The former president's death has increased criticism of Peru's system of pretrial detentions, the Washington Post reports. Garcia, 69, could have been held for three years without being tried—or even indicted. "It is increasingly difficult to justify," said a political scientist at University of the Pacific in Lima. Other former presidents have been ordered to pretrial detention, reflecting widespread anger at pervasive corruption, but some have warned the practice could undermine faith in the sweeping investigation. A former justice minister wants to see a "more selective criterion" used when prosecutors request detention. "Half of Peru's prison population has not been convicted," he said. (More Alan Garcia stories.)

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