Paraguay anti-drug prosecutor shot dead on honeymoon in Colombia | Drugs News

Marcelo Pecci, 45, was fatally shot whereas stress-free on a seaside on Colombia’s Carribean island of Baru, his spouse says.

Paraguayan anti-drug prosecutor Marcelo Pecci has been shot lifeless whereas honeymooning on a Colombian Caribbean island by males who fled by sea, police and his widow stated.

Paraguay’s president denounced the crime as a “cowardly homicide” and a fellow prosecutor stated the modus operandi was harking back to “the [drug] mafia”.

Pecci, 45, was felled by two pictures on Tuesday whereas stress-free on a seaside on the vacationer island of Baru, in accordance with his spouse, Paraguayan journalist Claudia Aguilera, whom he married on April 30 within the close by metropolis of Cartagena.

“Two males attacked Marcelo. They got here in a small boat, or on a jet ski, the reality is I didn’t see effectively,” she advised the El Tiempo newspaper.

One of many assailants acquired out and “with out a phrase he shot Marcelo twice, one [bullet] hit him within the face and one other within the again”, Aguilera stated.

She stated her husband of lower than two weeks had not acquired any threats.

The Decameron resort, the place the couple was staying, stated in a press release that “assassins arrived on the seaside … and attacked and murdered one among our company”.

Colombian President Ivan Duque speaks during an interview
Colombia’s President Ivan Duque denounced the killing, promising to cooperate with Paraguay ‘to search out these accountable’ [File: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

The motive for the killing was not instantly identified, however Paraguayan prosecutor Augusto Salas, a colleague of Pecci, stated the modus operandi was “typical of the [drug] mafia, so that’s what I’ll suppose till the opposite is confirmed”.

Colombian police chief Jorge Luis Vargas stated 5 murder investigators have been dispatched to Baru, and can obtain backing from Paraguayan and US specialists.

“There’s info being collected … that can assist us establish these accountable,” Vargas stated.

Colombian President Ivan Duque “denounced” the killing on Twitter. Duque stated he had supplied condolences to his Paraguayan counterpart Mario Abdo Benitez and promised “cooperation to search out these accountable”.

For his half, Benitez stated on Twitter: “The whole Paraguayan nation mourns the cowardly homicide of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Colombia.

“We condemn this tragic occasion within the strongest phrases, and we redouble our dedication to combating organized crime,” he added.

Pecci’s workplace stated in a press release that steps have been being taken “to offer help and assure the protection of his household”.

Pecci had specialised in organised crime, drug trafficking, cash laundering and the financing of terrorism.

He was concerned in investigations towards Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, held in Paraguay for a number of months in 2020 over a faux passport scandal.

He additionally led an operation that led to the seizure of dozens of properties acquired by way of cash laundering, and the arrest of some 30 individuals this 12 months.

The US embassy in Paraguay supplied its condolences to Pecci’s family members and hailed his “dedication, professionalism and dedication to the combat towards organised crime”.

Paraguay’s ambassador to Colombia, Sophia Lopez, stated Pecci was on a “non-public” journey and had no work conferences scheduled.

Colombia, the world’s largest cocaine producer, is contending with a wave of violence regardless of a 2016 peace deal that disarmed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group and ended a close to six-decade civil battle.

Combating over territory and assets continues in elements of the nation between dissident FARC armed fighters, the ELN rebel group, paramilitary forces and drug cartels.

For its half, landlocked Paraguay – nestled between Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina – has grow to be an necessary launchpad for medication headed for Europe.

Paraguay and Colombia have lately strengthened their alliance within the combat towards organised and cross-border crime.

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