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Montevideo, September 28th 2023 - 07:32 UTC



Paraguayan anti-drug prosecutor shot dead while honeymooning in Colombia

Tuesday, May 10th 2022 - 21:55 UTC
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Pecci had married journalist Claudia Aguilera on April 30. Two hours before the shooting she announced she was pregnant (Pic Instagram @aguileraclaudi) Pecci had married journalist Claudia Aguilera on April 30. Two hours before the shooting she announced she was pregnant (Pic Instagram @aguileraclaudi)

Paraguayan Prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, whose area of expertise was the fight against drug trafficking, has been shot dead Tuesday while on a honeymoon trip on the Colombian island of Baru near the city of Cartagena, it was reported.

Colombian Chief of Police General Jorge Luis Vargas explained that following the attack a homicide team has been dispatched to the area to handle the case.

Pecci had married journalist Claudia Aguilera on April 30, who said in a radio interview that ”two men arrived in a boat, approached him, shot him (...) and left.“ ”A guard wanted to approach but they shot the guard as well,“ she added.

General Vargas also announced that a Paraguayan ”team“ had been sent to assist in the investigation together with US law enforcement agencies.

”The cowardly murder of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Colombia mourns the entire Paraguayan nation. We condemn this tragic act in the strongest terms and redouble our commitment to fight organized crime,“ Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benìtez posted on social media.

Despite a historic peace agreement in 2016, Colombia is still filled with armed conflicts involving former guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and drug trafficking organizations.

Just two hours before the crime, his wife announced that she was pregnant.

Paraguay's Foreign Ministry reported that Ambassador Sophia López Garelli had already been instructed to gather information on the event, as well as to establish contact with the prosecutor's wife and also with local authorities, while Consul Romy Romero was following the case from Cartagena.

At a time when little to no information is known about the homicide, Paraguayan opposition leader Efraín Alegre, chairman of the PLRA, assured that investigations from Brazil accuse former President Horacio Cartes as the ”head of transnational organized crime in Paraguay.“ Therefore, he assured, the former president ”has to do“ with the homicide of the prosecutor Marcelo Pecci.

”Everything we are seeing, we cannot allow it to happen. We cannot look the other way, I will not get tired of repeating, that this is a national cause. We cannot allow the mafia to take over this beautiful land,“ Alegre stressed.

Alegre also pointed out that Cartés ”cannot leave the country because he will go to jail, and here in Paraguay, which is the center of his operations, he has no process whatsoever.“

When asked if he believed that the former president was connected to Pecci's crime, he assured that ”of course he is, he has to do with it“. Investigations in Brazil indicate that the head of organized crime in Paraguay ”has a name, it is Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara.“

”I can't say that, in this case, him personally. But I will keep repeating. It's the mafia or the homeland. In Brazil, Horacio Cartes is being accused of being the head of transnational organized crime,” he also added.

The Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA) stems from the old Liberal Party founded in 1887. It is one of the two major political parties in Paraguay, together with the Colorado Party. It was the main opposition force to the regime of General Alfredo Stroessner. In recent years, it became the ruling party from June 22, 2012, until August 15, 2013, under President Federico Franco, who took over when President Fernando Lugo was impeached.

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