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.