With tributes in his favorite places – the soccer club, the school and the fire station – Paraguay fired Marcelo Pecci, the prosecutor against organized crime murdered by hitmen in Colombia, on Sunday.
“They killed him because he bothered him for his honesty (…) They kill a man for doing his job, honestly. They cut short the life of an upright, decent man at 45 years old,” his father Francisco Pecci cried out, to the gates of the La Recoleta cemetery.
Followed by four hearses full of flowers, the vehicle that transported Pecci’s remains stopped in front of gate number 5 of La Recoleta where he was received with the sounds of Beethoven’s Funeral March sung by a military band.RELATED
The feeling of pain and frustration prevailed in the atmosphere in the midst of the dozens of attendees who said their last goodbyes to the relentless anti-drug prosecutor shot to death on May 10 in Barú, near Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, where he was enjoying his honeymoon with Claudia Aguilera, with whom she was expecting a child.
To the cry of “justice, justice” the prosecutor’s coffin advanced, carried by his family, friends and colleagues from the Unit against drug trafficking and money laundering of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The mother, Maricel Albertini, came to the farewell in a wheelchair. Her father, former judge Francisco Pecci, monopolized the ceremony prior to burial in a family pantheon with his messages.
“Drug trafficking murdered my son for doing his job well. Whether they find the culprit or not is another matter. These are assassins who act sent by others. The world of drugs is terrible,” said the disconsolate father.
“Sometime he told me that if something happened to him it was God’s will,” he said ruefully. “He told me: ‘Dad, I’m not going to live as long as you because of the stress of my work,’ because they gave him the most difficult jobs and he didn’t refuse,” he recalled.
He was “a very dutiful boy, fearless, prudent and above all brave,” his father insisted.
Pecci’s work was essential to collect evidence on captured criminals belonging to the criminal organizations of Brazilian origin Primeiro Comando Capital (PCC) and Comando Vermelho (CV), as well as Lebanese launderers from the Triple Border with Brazil and Argentina.
Three of them were sentenced with their evidence to extradition to the United States, accused of injecting capital into the radical group Hezbollah.
His family, relatives and closest friends huddled around the coffin wrapped in a flag with the national colors: red, white and blue, mixed with another cloth with the symbol of the Colegio San José and the Guaraní club, of which he was a leader.
In the first row was the Attorney General of the State Sandra Quiñonez and other agents of the Public Ministry. At his side, the Justice Attaché of the United States Embassy, Brian Skaret.
In coordination with the United States and other countries, since February Paraguay has been following the so-called Extreme Operation, which has already produced twenty detainees and the seizure of a large quantity of weapons, real estate, trucks, luxury vehicles, heads of cattle and even aircraft, products washing. According to Senator Oscar Cachito Salomón, Pecci’s crime could be linked to that investigation.
In the second row, with less prominence, magistrates, politicians and government officials mixed.
President Mario Abdo Benítez, who presided over the official events scheduled for Independence Day with the presence of Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, was not present, but who decreed an official three-day mourning for Pecci’s murder.
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