Alan García

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Alan García in Brasília

Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez (born May 23, 1949 in Lima ; † April 17, 2019 ibid) was a Peruvian lawyer and social democratic politician ( APRA). He was President of Peru from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011 .


Alan García was born on May 23, 1949. His family was already closely associated with the formerly left-wing APRA party . García attended school at the Colegio Nacional José María Eguren in the Barranco district of Lima.

His father was party secretary during the reign of General Manuel A. Odría when APRA was declared illegal. He was jailed and first saw his own son when he was five years old. Alan García joined the APRA youth organization as a primary school student. At the age of seventeen he received the membership card of the party.

Presidency 1985–1990

On April 14, 1985, Alan García was elected President of Peru with 45% of the vote. Although the Peruvian constitution provided for a runoff election if an absolute majority was missed, García was declared the winner due to the surrender of the second-placed candidate, Alfonso Barrantes Lingan . He was only 35 years old at the time and the first president appointed by the APRA since the party was founded.

His government was highly controversial. Even if he impressed in the first years with his youthfulness and simultaneous authority, the results of his economic policy in particular were seen by market-oriented critics as the cause of the biggest economic crisis in his country to date.

García's economic policy was characterized by strong state control and excessive spending of new money. At the same time, the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was rejected and the repayment of foreign debts was limited to 10% of Peruvian export earnings. This led to delays in the payment of installments and to the suspension of the IMF's funding in 1986.

Another problem facing his government was the armed struggle of the Sendero Luminoso , which began under President Fernando Belaúnde Terry but peaked under García in 1986 and 1988. The Peruvian armed forces cracked down on the civilian population under the pretext of fighting guerrillas. On July 19, 1986, mutinous political prisoners were killed in several prisons in Lima . In this context, García was held personally responsible. However, the Peruvian judiciary dropped such proceedings.

The decline of his government authority began with an attempt to nationalize the banking system to control the hyperinflation that has set in . This reached 1722% in 1988 and 2776% the following year. At the beginning of 1990 this indicator jumped to 7649%. The Peruvian currency sol was replaced by the inti and then the nuevo sol . One new sol was the equivalent of a billion old soles.

In addition, the scandal of the Lima light rail system ( Tren Urbano ), which García pushed forwards, widened . The financial resources for the construction seeped away in the vicinity of the president and his party, with the exception of a small section of the building was not usable for years. In parts of Lima, the pillars stood for a long time without the connecting parts, the route was only completed during his second term in office and officially inaugurated by him on July 11, 2011. García has been investigated directly in several committees of inquiry and proceedings, and numerous accounts have been discovered with offshore banks in Central America. A final judicial clarification is still pending.

When García took office in 1985, García was very popular because of his youthful, charismatic appearance, his ability to speak and his obvious radicalism in defending the “interests of the people”. When he left in 1990, this had been reversed. At the handover ceremony to his successor Alberto Fujimori , García was unable to deliver a final speech to the people, as there were noisy tumults in Congress (where his party no longer had a majority) when he tried to speak. According to the protocol, he had to leave the parliamentary grounds before the inaugural speech of the new president.

The time after 1990

In 1991, Alan García was tried on charges of unlawful enrichment. The case was closed in 1992 because the allegations did not appear conclusive. García has been appointed General Secretary of APRA. On April 5 of the same year García asked the Colombian government to grant political asylum; his authoritarian successor Fujimori is in the process of building a dictatorship. Then he stayed in France .

García did not return to Peru until 2001. He faced criminal proceedings for responsibility for the 1986 prisoner killings, and again for unlawful enrichment. However, there was never a trial in court. After a period of abstinence from Peruvian politics, he ran again for the office of president in the 2001 elections, but lost to Alejandro Toledo in the second ballot .

Alan García Perez in October 2006

Presidency 2006–2011

For the presidential election in 2006 García ran again for APRA. In the first ballot, he came in second with 24.3% of the vote, just ahead of the conservative candidate Lourdes Flores . He won the runoff election on June 4 against the left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala with 52.6% of the vote.

Alan García took over the presidency on July 28, 2006, Peru's national holiday .

Since taking office, the president has increasingly lost popularity. His export-oriented policy led to popular protests. In March 2008, he brutally suppressed protests against the privatization of the rainforest by foreign companies. After it became known in October 2008 that close friends and employees of the President were involved in a bribery scandal, he was forced to dissolve the Council of Ministers and fill all ministerial posts. High government officials had pocketed "commissions" so that the Norwegian company Discover Petroleum would get preferential terms for the exploitation of Peruvian oil.

After Jorge del Castillo Gálvez resigned as prime minister in October 2008 , García appointed Yehude Simon as his successor. In July 2009, Simon resigned as Prime Minister due to political tensions with the indigenous population and their leader Alberto Pizango . García appointed Javier Velásquez Quesquén as his successor . Since Velásquez wanted to run as APRA candidate for the office of president in 2011, he too resigned on September 12, 2010. As part of a cabinet reshuffle, García appointed José Antonio Chang as the new Prime Minister of Peru on September 14, 2010 .

Alan García called for the death penalty to be introduced in Peru for violent crimes, but was unable to win the required majority in parliament. He agreed to personally "cut off the heads of 50 rapists." So far, the Peruvian constitution only allows the death penalty for high treason in the event of war.

Under Alan García, Peruvian economic activity recovered strongly in the course of 2009 up to the beginning of 2010. After a brief slowdown in the first quarters of 2009, solid growth was achieved again, especially in the last quarter. The above-average growth in Peru in a regional comparison continues. In 2009 the gross domestic product (GDP) rose by a total of 1.12%. Unemployment fell from 8.8% in the previous year to 8.6%. Peru was one of the few countries in the world that was able to record economic growth in the crisis year 2009.

In July 2011 , Ollanta Humala succeeded him in the presidency.

The time after 2011

García left Peru again and lived in Madrid . When he ran for the presidential election in 2016, he received just 6 percent of the vote.

In order to testify in the context of the Odebrecht corruption scandal , García flew from Spain to Lima in 2018. When the examining magistrate imposed an 18-month travel ban on him, he asked for asylum at the Uruguayan embassy in November 2018. He was denied this. In 2018 polls, he was the most unpopular politician in Peru.

García was due to be arrested on April 17, 2019. García shot himself in the head with a pistol shortly before the police arrived and was admitted to hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died that same day as a result of the gunshot wound. His relatives refused a state funeral .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ M. Daniljuk: As a guest with friends. In: amerika21. April 21, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2009 .
  2. Presidente Alan García inauguró Tramo 1 del Tren Eléctrico (Spanish, "President Alan Garcia opened the first section of the Tren Eléctrico"). In: July 11, 2011, accessed April 17, 2019 .
  3. amerika21: Peru: Serious government crisis due to corruption , October 11, 2008
  4. ^ Report by Deutsche Welle
  5. RPP Cabanillas: Javier Velásquez tiene el perfil de presidente del país (Spanish)
  6. García demands the death penalty for violent criminals. In: the standard. August 16, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010 .
  7. ^ Economic data sheet Peru. Federal Foreign Office, accessed March 30, 2011 .
  8. a b c Peter Gaupp: When a thoroughbred politician loses instinct. In: December 28, 2018, accessed January 1, 2019 .
  9. Peru's ex-president shoots himself . April 17, 2019 ( [accessed April 17, 2019]).
  10. Former Peruvian President García shoots himself in the head when arrested
  11. Peru's ex-president García is dead. In: April 17, 2019, accessed April 17, 2019 .

Web links

Commons : Alan García  - collection of images, videos and audio files