Weekly Report - 12 May 2022 (WR-22-19)

PARAGUAY: Beach murder causes shockwaves

The manner of the murder of Marcelo Pecci and the motive behind it are fuelling concern in Paraguay and the wider region. Pecci, Paraguay’s special prosecutor against organised crime, was gunned down by hitmen on a beach while on honeymoon in Colombia on 10 May. He was leading some major criminal cases in Paraguay, above all in relation to the country’s biggest-ever counter-narcotics operation ‘A Ultranza Py’, launched in February, which has delivered blows against drug-trafficking groups and their assets. One of these groups was most likely behind the contract killing. His murder shows the broad reach and interconnected nature of organised crime. It also sends a powerful signal: Pecci had a reputation for incorruptibility, by no means shared by all officials in Paraguay and beyond, who, seeing his fate, may feel even less inclined to emulate him.

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