The International Association of Prosecutors deplores murder of Paraguay prosecutor MARCELO PECCI in Colombia
The International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) is the only world organization of prosecutors, prosecuting authorities and associations. It covers six continents and over 175 jurisdictions, and represents over 200,000 prosecutors. The IAP is a non-political and non-governmental organization, and enjoys special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
The IAP is committed to upholding the rights of prosecutors, and this includes their personal safety and that of their families. In the IAP’s “Standards for Protection and Security of Prosecutors”, it is stated that “States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that public prosecutors, together with their families, are physically protected by the appropriate authorities when their personal safety is threatened as a result of the proper discharge of their functions”. States, moreover, are enjoined to provide any necessary protections for prosecutors and their families “at home or when travelling”.
The IAP has learned with great shock and sadness of the murder of Marcelo Pecci, Prosecutor of Organized Crime Matters of Paraguay, while on a private visit to Baru, Colombia. He was shot dead by two assassins at the hotel where he was staying with his wife, Claudia Aguilera, on May 9, 2022. The Colombian police have launched a manhunt for the killers, and a substantial reward has been offered for information leading to the apprehension of the killers.
The Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia, Marta Lucia Ramirez, has expressed “absolute condemnation and repudiation of the murder”, and indicated that the Colombian police are working closely with the Attorney General of Paraguay in a joint quest for justice, and this is greatly welcomed by the IAP.
Mr Pecci was a highly regarded prosecutor in Paraguay, and beyond. He specialized in cases involving organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorist financing, and his expertise will be greatly missed. The IAP extends its profound sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues, all of whom will have been inspired by his example and achievements.
Ms Belinda Bobadilla, Vice President of the Paraguay Public Prosecutors Association, has said “we’ve made a commitment to as an institution – as Marcelo’s long-time colleagues – to come out of this situation even stronger in honor of the bravery and courage he always displayed”, and the IAP applauds these sentiments. It also commits itself to standing together with the Public Prosecutors Association both now, at a time of tragedy, and also for the future.
The murder of Mr Pecci, once again, places a focus on the safety of prosecutors and their families. The IAP, accordingly, calls upon States to review the adequacy of their existing arrangements, to consider how they can be strengthened, and to do their utmost to ensure that the highest levels of protection are achieved. If prosecutors are to successfully discharge their mandate by upholding the rule of law, bringing criminals to justice, and contributing to communities that are safe, they must themselves be adequately protected at all times.
May 11, 2022