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The last days of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, murdered on the beaches of Colombia


The Police offer up to 12,000 dollars for information on the murderers of the prosecutor who was investigating delicate cases of drug trafficking and organized crime in his country

The prosecutor Marcelo Pecci accompanied by his wife Claudia Aguilera.RR SS

It was their last day in the Caribbean, the sixth after arriving in Colombia to celebrate their honeymoon and the happiest for the newlywed couple: they announced to the world that they would be parents.

However, in less than two hours, that sublime happiness was transformed into restlessness and death.

At 10:30 in the morning of May 10, Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci fell on the white sand of Barú beach, a paradisiacal island 45 minutes from Cartagena.

Two assassins appeared on a jet ski and reached the beach of the Decameron hotel where Pecci and his wife, Claudia Aguilera, were staying.

"One of the men got out and without saying a word he shot Marcelo twice, one hit was received in the face and another in the back," she told the newspaper

El Tiempo.

They then fled on the same jet ski.

The timing is unclear, but a hotel security guard was also shot, although he was uninjured.

Tourists from a usually quiet beach crowded around Pecci's body and some tried to lift him onto a stretcher, but the prosecutor was already dead.

Between sobs, Aguilera knelt next to the body of her husband.

The happiness of her marriage, last April 30 in Asunción, the honeymoon that they prepared so much for and the announcement of the baby on the way, vanished.

The murder has shocked Paraguay and Colombia, where the police authorities of both countries, together with US officials, are seeking to find the international networks that participated in the murder.

Pecci was a prosecutor specialized in drug trafficking and the man behind the investigations of the great cases of money laundering and organized crime in the southern country.

He had recently participated in the operation Ultranza Py, against drug trafficking in that country.

“It is difficult to establish a link as to why, although everything points to the fact that it harmed the interests of the criminal drug trafficking market linked to cocaine that operates from Paraguay and that uses the entire Paraguay-Paraná waterway so that the merchandise can leave through the ports of Buenos Aires or Montevideo destined for European, Australian and Asian markets.

It is the strongest hypothesis as to why he was murdered, ”Juan Martens Molas, doctor of criminology and director of the Comparative Institute of Social and Criminal Sciences Inecip, explains to EL PAÍS.


Paraguayan prosecutor murdered in Colombia

Images of moments after the murder of the Prosecutor. Video: RR SS

But narcopolitics, which has also become a phenomenon in Paraguay, is another factor to keep in mind, explains the expert.

“It is very difficult to find a case where a politician is not involved.

Several of those that Pecci had as a prosecutor also had politicians who are in prison as suspects or accused.”

It is not yet clear from which group the attack on the prosecutor came.

At the end of the afternoon, the Colombian Police revealed a photograph of a man with a hat, glasses and dressed in black as one of the alleged murderers.

The image was taken in a place near the hotel beach, said the director of the Colombian National Police, General Jorge Vargas.

"It is very important to locate this person," the general repeated and announced a reward of up to 500 million Colombian pesos (12,000 dollars) to anyone who gives information about the assassins.

“We have people working in the area of ​​Barú and Cartagena, also a deployment in airports to make a lockdown plan,” he added during a press conference in the area.

Some Colombian media have published testimonies of those who rented the jetski to the assassins.

According to La W, they would have paid $50 to use the vehicle for 30 minutes, but they returned it 15 minutes later.

Others claim that the gunmen traveled on the same plane as the couple.

But no Colombian authority confirmed those versions.

Pecci had traveled without security and, according to the Colombian Police, they did not know of his presence in the country.

Aguilera has said that she had received no threats.

The couple had arrived in Colombia on May 5 and were walking through the historic center of Cartagena, the Getsemaní neighborhood and the walls, amazed by the beauty of the city.

On May 6 they would have moved to Barú.

Aguilera's series of messages about the happiness that overwhelmed them broke the hearts of thousands of people in Colombia and Paraguay.

This Monday, she published on her networks: "the last sunset in Barú, but we will have millions more together."

Image shared by the Police of the murder suspect.

-And why did you choose Colombia?, asked the attorney general of Paraguay, Sandra Quiñónez, to her friend and teammate, Marcelo Pecci.

He was exultant, he had just been exclusively announced that he and the journalist Claudia Aguilera would be parents.

“He told me that he was attracted to the Caribbean route,” said Quinónez, through tears.

For Martens Molas, the fact that the homicide occurred in Colombia could be circumstantial or a way for criminal groups to say "we have the power to impose here or there."

"That they have killed him in Colombia or Paraguay also indicates the transnationality of these groups that operate, their international connections," he concluded.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-05-11

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