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Exiled Ex-President of Peru Alan Garcia Returns to Cheers

Associated Press

Former president Alan Garcia returned from exile to the cheers of supporters Saturday, launching his drive to recapture the presidency of the homeland he fled nearly a decade ago amid charges of corruption.

Garcia--who came to power a young populist but ended his term in 1990 amid annual inflation topping 7,600%, surging rebel violence and rampant corruption--immediately hit the campaign trail ahead of April 8 elections.

Reviled by many Peruvians as a crook, Garcia arrived in his homeland on a flight from Colombia. He was met at the Lima airport by about 3,000 placard-waving supporters, most members of his left-leaning Aprista Party.

Garcia, 51, comes back to a country rocked by scandals left behind by his nemesis, former President Alberto Fujimori, who had long sought to imprison him.

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