The Paraguayan anti-mafia prosecutor Marcelo Pecci was assassinated on Tuesday by gunmen who arrived on jet skis to the place where he spent his honeymoon in the Colombian Caribbean, near Cartagena.

Pecci, 45, died from the two shots he received on Barú Island, an exclusive tourist area in northern Colombia, according to the reconstruction made by his wife, journalist Claudia Aguilera.

“Two men attacked Marcelo. They came in a small boat, or a jet sky, the truth is that I did not see it well,” the woman told the newspaper El Tiempo.

One of the assailants got out and “without saying a word, he shot Marcelo twice, one hit in the face and another in the back,” Aguilera described.

The director of the Colombian police, General Jorge Luis Vargas, said at a press conference that the US anti-drug agency DEA, Colombian and Paraguayan authorities are working to “obtain as much information” about the crime.

We will organize “an international search and location team for these criminals wherever they are,” added the official.

Police announced a reward equivalent to about $488,000 for information leading to the capture of the killers.

Helicopters, divers, experts, fingerprint experts and specialized prosecutors are part of the investigative body in charge of the case.

The Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, Brian Nichols, wrote in a tweet that his country “condemns the assassination of the prosecutor” and that he reaffirms his “commitment and determination to work with the Paraguayan authorities and the entire American continent in the fight against organized crime.

Pecci married on April 30 and spent his honeymoon at the Decameron Hotel, which also provided details of the murder.

“This morning, assassins who arrived on jet skis at the beach in front of the Decameron Barú Hotel attacked and murdered one of our guests,” he said in a statement.

According to his wife, the prosecutor had “no threat.”

In the last publication of the communicator on Instagram, the couple is seen embracing on the beach and, in the foreground, some baby shoes.

Paraguay’s attorney general, a personal friend of Pecci, told W Radio that Aguilera is pregnant.

“I will carry Marcelo forever in my heart. A man of integrity, a fighter, a thoroughgoing prosecutor,” Paraguayan prosecutor Sandra Quiñonez said earlier at a press conference.

The police released the image of one of Pecci’s alleged attackers in search of information that would allow his capture. In the photograph you can see a thin, brown-skinned man, smiling, wearing a hat and sunglasses.

Pecci was a specialized prosecutor against organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and financing of terrorism.

He was known for his participation in the case that put former soccer player Ronaldinho behind bars between March and August 2020 for entering Paraguay with false documents.

According to General Vargas, his men had “no knowledge” of the investigator’s stay in Colombia, despite being “one of the most protected people in Paraguay.”

The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, rejected the murder of Pecci through Twitter and assured that he is in communication with his Paraguayan counterpart, Mario Abdo Benítez, in order “to agree on all cooperation to find those responsible.”

Earlier, Abdo had expressed his repudiation on the same social network. “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.”

According to the Paraguayan ambassador to Colombia, Sophia López, because it is an ongoing investigation, Pecci’s body will not be transferred “immediately.”

The diplomat assured Unicanal that the prosecutor was on a “private” trip and had no work meetings planned during his visit to Colombia.

On his side, the president of the Association of Fiscal Agents of Paraguay, Augusto Salas, believes that the mafia may be behind this “coup.”

“The way they acted, the way they executed, is typical of the mafia, so I can’t think of anything else unless the opposite is proven,” said the prosecutor.

In a statement, the Paraguayan prosecutor’s office lamented the “loss” of his “co-worker” and assured that they are carrying out actions to provide assistance and guarantee the safety of his family.

Paraguay and Colombia have just strengthened their alliance against organized and transnational crime.

In a recent meeting in Cartagena with Abdo Benítez, Duque announced that his government will support with intelligence and military training the fight against the Paraguayan Army of the People, a guerrilla group involved in kidnapping ranchers and hundreds of murders of soldiers, police and civilians.

The Colombian government faces the violence financed by drug trafficking that followed the peace agreement with what was once the most powerful rebel organization on the continent, the FARC. Despite decades of anti-drug persecution, the country remains the world’s largest supplier of cocaine.

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