A suicide note in which Peru’s ex-President Alan Garcia denied corruption charges against him set the backdrop Friday for his funeral, two days after he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger as police arrived to arrest him on bribery charges linked to the Odebrecht graft scandal.
The sweeping affair, which has tainted politicians across Latin America, swept up another Peruvian ex-president when a judge ordered 80 year-old Pedro Pablo Kuczynski jailed for up to three years on Odebrecht-related money laundering charges. “I’ve seen others paraded in handcuffs and living a miserable existence, but Alan Garcia will not suffer such an injustice or circus,” the late ex-president, 69, wrote in a note to his six children. It was read out at his funeral by his sobbing daughter Luciana.
Garcia (1985-90, 2006-11) and Kuczynski (2016-2018) are two of four former Peru presidents embroiled in various corruption scandals. He had a long and controversial political career in which he seemed obsessed with his legacy.
“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,” wrote Garcia.
He accused authorities of using corruption investigations as a tool for “humiliation, harassment and not to find truths,” then wrote dramatically: “Others sell themselves, but not me.” In his suicide note, Garcia “victimizes himself, blames opponents for his situation, then sacrifices himself for the sake of his party,” historian Juan Luis Orrego opined on RPP radio.
Kuczynski, currently being treated for hypertension and heart issues at a private hospital, was sentenced to 36 months of pre-trial detention as he is being investigated for money laundering, the Peruvian court handling corruption cases said on Twitter.