The Paraguayan prosecutor of the unit against organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and financing of terrorism, Marcelo Puccihe was in Colombia enjoying their honeymoon. He was staying with his wife, the investigative journalist claudia aguileraat the Decameron Barú hotel, in the paradisiacal area of southern Cartagena de Indias.
The couple had just married on April 30 and on her last day of vacation in Barú, Aguilera shared with her followers on social networks the happy news that they were going to be parents. “The last sunset in Barú, but we will have millions to be together,” the journalist wrote next to a photograph with crystal clear waters and baby slippers. However, hours later, while they were enjoying the hotel’s private beach, two attackers arrived on a jet ski and shot both of them. The gunmen also opened fire on a security guard who the hotel has confirmed was unharmed.
The journalist was not injured, it was clear that the attackers were targeting the Paraguayan anti-drug prosecutor. One of them got out and “without saying a word he shot Marcelo twice, once in the face and once in the back,” Aguilera explained, according to the AP agency. Unfortunately, Marcelo Pecci, at the age of 45, passed away. The other tourists tried to help Pecci, lying on the sand covered in blood, but nothing could be done for his life. He died practically instantly in front of his wife.
The anti-drug prosecutor was highly respected in Asunción and well known in the rest of the world. His murder has caused a stir in Paraguay and Colombia. He was also an important pillar in the fight against drug trafficking in the United States.
Aguilera has recognized that in the recent times Pecci did not receive threats, so they traveled without escorts. Pecci was investigating several high-profile cases in Paraguay, including a shooting at a concert in January that killed a alleged drug trafficker and the wife of a soccer player.
According to AP, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice President of Colombia, Martha Lucia Ramirezindicated that the authorities were working to clarify “the motives and the authors of this heinous crime”.
For his part, the Colombian Defense Minister, diego molano, assured that a “high command” criminal investigation unit had been sent to Cartagena. Paraguayan and US officials will join the unit to help identify and prosecute the perpetrators, police said.
Paraguayan President, Mario Abdo Benitez, condemned on Twitter the “cowardly murder” of the prosecutor. Abdo promised to redouble Paraguay’s efforts against organized crime.
The cowardly murder of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Colombia mourns the entire Paraguayan Nation.
We condemn this tragic event in the strongest terms and redouble our commitment to fight against organized crime.
Our sincere condolences to their families.
– Marito Abdo (@MaritoAbdo) May 10, 2022
The director of the Colombian National Police, General George Louis Vargas, acknowledged yesterday that he had no knowledge that Pecci was in Colombia. He stated that Pecci was one of the most watched people in Paraguay since he “investigated cases of international terrorism.” He today he has remembered that Colombia offers a reward of some 2,000 million pesos (about 460,000 euros) for any information from anywhere in the world to help capture those responsible for the murder.
The Colombian Police issued a search and seizure circular with the photograph of one of the suspects in the murder of Marcelo Pecci. In the police circular you see a man dressed in black and with a hat that partially hides his face, and citizen collaboration is requested to identify him.
Colombian authorities they have not yet given more details who may be behind the murder of this specialized prosecutor against Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism in Paraguay.
Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in South America. Cultivation of the plant remains illegal in that country and much of the harvest is smuggled into Argentina and Brazil.
Several local journalists have recalled that armed groups operate in the Cartagena area. However, the best known is the Gulf cartel.
wave of outrage
According to the newspaper Hoy, from Paraguay, for this Friday, the Association of Fiscal Agents of Paraguay has called for a march for “Bravery and Courage”, to repudiate the crime of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci.
The EFE agency recalls that the murdered official had dealt with media cases such as the arrest for Forgery of the passport of the Brazilian ex-soccer player Ronaldinho or the investigation of the shooting that occurred at the Ja’umina festival last January where the model and “influencer” C diedRistina ‘Vita’ Aranda, wife of soccer player Iván Torres.
The attorney general of Paraguay, Sandra Quinonezassured in statements to the Colombian station Blu Radio that they are studying the hypothesis of whether Pecci, who “managed his entire security system himself”, would have been followed from Asunción to Cartagena.
“At some point (Pecci) had to face some types of threats that he had managed very well, taking the precautions of his work,” said the prosecutor, who said that the murdered official was a “personal friend.”