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Alan García, Peru's former president. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Former Peruvian President Alan García killed himself on Wednesday, reportedly as authorities closed in to arrest him for links to the corruption scandal involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, known as Operation Car Wash, or Lava Jato.

By the numbers: Peru's last 5 former presidents have all been charged with crimes. Three have been sent to jail, 1 is currently on house arrest and the other is an international fugitive.

The big picture: The last president not sought by authorities for graft was Fernando Belaúnde Terry, who left office in 1985 and died in 2002.

  • Peru's most recent ex-president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, was removed from office and eventually sentenced to 10 days in jail over charges a consulting firm he co-owned accepted nearly $1 million in payments from Odebrecht.
  • Former President Ollanta Humala is currently under house arrest facing allegations he took $3 million in bribes, largely from Odebrecht, during his term from 2011 to 2016.
  • García served 2 terms as president, most recently prior to Humala, and shot himself in the head as authorities arrived to take him to jail.
  • Alejandro Toledo has reportedly fled to the United States to avoid trial on corruption charges for taking bribes from Odebrecht.
  • Alberto Fujimori, who oversaw a 10-year dictatorship in Peru from 1990 to 2000, was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, including killing more than 2 dozen people by military death squad.
    • Fujimori was freed by Kuczynski in a controversial deal with Fujimori's daughter Keiko, who at the time was leader of the congressional opposition party. But last year he was sent back to prison. Keiko was arrested for taking bribes from Odebrecht in October and sentenced to 36 months pretrial detention.

The state of play: Despite the political chaos, Peru's stock market delivered world-beating returns from the start of 2016 to the end of 2017. An ETF tracking MSCI's Peruvian index (EPU) gained 114% during that time, far outpacing the S&P 500's 43% rise and almost doubling MSCI's broader gauge of emerging market equities, which rose 66%, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

  • It has since underperformed both indexes.

Go deeper: After Peru's president, regional anti-corruption wave finds next targets

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

14 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.