This is the devastating moment a newlywed TV journalist broke down over the body of her prosecutor husband after he was assassinated while honeymooning on a Colombian beach.
Marcelo Pecci, 45, was shot dead in front of his wife Claudia Aguilera in Isla Barú outside the Caribbean city of Cartagena on Tuesday.
The execution took place moments after Aguilera, who worked for television network Unicanal, and Pecci, who has been waging a war on drug cartels, announced they were expecting a baby.
The high-profile couple, from Paraguay, had just uploaded a photo to Instagram of themselves embracing on the sand behind a pair of baby sneakers.
‘The best wedding gift is… life bringing you closer to the most beautiful testimony of love,’ Aguilera wrote on her account.
Aguilera told Colombian law enforcement investigators that the two suspects approached them on the beach at the Decameron Hotel and did not say a word before one of them shot Pecci, once in the face and once in the back.
A video also emerged Thursday that showed one of the assailants leaving the jet ski rental shop where they got the watercraft that was used to carry out the assassination.
The rental shop owner, whose name has been withheld due to security concerns, became suspicious of the suspect after he returned the jet ski after having used it for only 15 of the 30 minutes he had been allotted.
‘We saw that those who had rented returned very soon and handed over the jet ski with the respective vests to the managers,’ he recalled.
And about 10 minutes later, we received a call from the Decameron Hotel that a person had been injured with the jet ski. At the moment, we thought that they had run over, but later we realized that it was a murder.’
Colombian authorities have offered a reward of 2 billion pesos, approximately $488,000, for information leading to the capture of the individual, who was wearing a fedora.
Police chief General Jorge Luis Vargas told the media that Pecci’s murder was most likely linked to his prosecutions of high-profile money laundering and drug trafficking cases in Paraguay.
‘We’re talking about a transnational crime system, highly planned, in which it’s probable that a large amount of money was spent to carry out the murder,’ Vargas said.
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported that authorities are looking into whether the murder was linked to the investigation Pecci participated with the Drug Enforcement Administration that helped identified members of Hezbollah in Paraguay.
One of the suspects, Lebanon national Nader Mohammed Farhat, was extradited from Paraguay to Miami in June 2017 to face money laundering charges.
Pecci wed Aguilera in April and the paired traveled to Colombia last week for their post-nuptial celebration.
A senior official with Paraguay’s national police, Nimio Cardozo, arrived in Colombia’s capital to assist the investigation, along with U.S. drug and other federal agents.
Appearing at the same news conference, Cardozo stressed that only a few people knew of Pecci’s planned vacation.
‘We will not stop until we have caught those responsible, materially and intellectually, for this despicable act,’ he said.
The Colombian government is offering a $488,000 for information leading to the capture of one of the two suspects who participated in the murder of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci who was involved in high-profile money laundering and drug trafficking cases