December 3, 2018 / 2:37 PM / 15 days ago

Peru says Uruguay rejected Peruvian ex-president's asylum request

LIMA, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Uruguay has rejected a request for asylum from former Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who is currently under investigation in his home country on allegations of corruption, Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizo said on Monday.

Uruguayan officials notified Peru of the decision and said Garcia, 69, had left Uruguay’s embassy in Lima after about two weeks there.

“They conducted an evaluation of the situation and came to the conclusion that this was not a case of political persecution,” Popolizo told local radio broadcaster RPP.

Garcia, who was Peru’s president from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011, requested asylum at Uruguay’s embassy shortly after a judge last month barred him from leaving Peru for 18 months while under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes during the construction of an electric train in Lima by Brazilian company Odebrecht.

The prosecutor in the case, Jose Perez, has also accused Garcia of receiving $100,000 for taking part in a conference in Brazil, and said the money likely came from an Odebrecht fund used to pay bribes in several Latin American countries.

The sweeping Odebrecht corruption scandal has implicated dozens of high-ranking officials across Latin America, who have been accused of taking bribes in exchange for public works contracts.

In 1992, Garcia applied for asylum in the Colombian embassy in Lima while he was being investigated for corruption and illicit enrichment. (Reporting by Marco Aquino Writing by Dave Sherwood Editing by Paul Simao)

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