Early Wednesday morning I received a call from my mom and for some reason I knew something was going on, she usually doesn’t call me that early.
She told me that former Peruvian President Alan Garcia shot himself as authorities came to his house to arrest him, due to investigations for corruption claims during his two governments.
I was shocked and I truly would like to send my sincere condolences to his family in this time of sorrow. We will never understand what was in his mind that drove him to do what he did. It could be an act of no way out since he had so many investigations against him or just pure ego. He said many times that he will never step in a jail, since he experienced that with his dad. Or perhaps we will never know….
He was the leader of one of the oldest and popular political parties in Peru, APRA (The American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) or Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, a political party my dad, grandfather and uncles have in their blood. Alan Garcia was the only leader that became president twice from the party and the pride of many of its militants.
I grew up around the conversations about APRA, my grandfather Carlos, always told us stories of him being in the party and how he knew the founder, Victor Raul Haya de la Torre and how they were harassed because they were not allowed to express their truth.
My dad also, used to talk a lot about being part of the party. My siblings and I even learned to sing the APRA Marseillaise (yes, that’s right, the anthem was created with the permission of the French government) and were taught their ideology by my dad. I was the one that resisted the most, even though my grandpa conversations were at times illuminating, I didn’t feel connected with the party.
I am not into politics myself and I honestly don’t like talking about it, and was not a fan of Alan Garcia either. However, when I heard of his death, a lot of memories came back to me, while he was president and I was growing up in Peru, with one of the worst governments I have ever gone through, and so much turmoil, but I am also grateful that he was the reason we came to live to the United States and our lives changed.
There are currently many challenging times of political turmoil in Peru, the only thing we could do as Peruvians is to embrace peace, forgive, let go and move on.
Time heals everything. I don’t know if it will be the end of APRA, and what actually happened with Alan Garcia. If he is really guilty of all the accusations against him or if he is innocent, and his reason to end his life. I guess only history will tell.