Peru’s former President Alan García has shot himself as police came to arrest him.
Casimiro Ulloa hospital in the capital, Lima, said he was in surgery where he was being treated for “a bullet wound to his head”. Mr García is accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht – claims he has repeatedly denied.
Officers had been sent to arrest him in connection with the allegations. Health minister Zulema Tomás said Mr García’s condition was “very serious and critical”, and that he had to be resuscitated after suffering three cardiac arrests.
“Let’s pray to God to give him strength,” the former president’s lawyer Erasmo Reyna reportedly told journalists at the hospital.
Mr García served as president from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011.
Investigators say he took bribes from Odebrecht during his second term in office, linked to a metro line building project in the capital.
Odebrecht has admitted paying almost $30m (£23m) in bribes in Peru since 2004.
But Mr García says he is the victim of political persecution, writing in a tweet on Tuesday that there is “no clue or evidence” against him.