The US has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Marcelo Pecci, a Paraguayan organised crime prosecutor who was killed on his honeymoon in Colombia earlier this year.
The US Department of State said in a statement on Thursday that it was looking for information that could lead to the arrest or conviction of any co-conspirators, “including those responsible for financing and ordering the assassination.”
Pecci was fatally shot on a beach on Colombia’s tourist island of Baru on May 10, just days after his wedding, in what Paraguay’s president called a “cowardly murder” at the time.
Colombian authorities have identified six co-conspirators in the killing, and five have been arrested, according to the State Department, adding that Thursday’s reward was intended to find anyone else who may have been involved.
Five months ago, a Colombian judge sentenced four of those involved in the killing to 23 years in prison, with a fifth awaiting trial.
Pecci’s assailants arrived by sea and fled, shooting him twice on the beach.
The 45-year-old had a background in organised crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, and “terrorism financing.”
He was also in charge of an operation that resulted in the seizure of dozens of properties obtained through money laundering and the arrest of about 30 people earlier this year.
According to Marc Ostfield, the US ambassador in Asuncion, “the death of prosecutor Pecci was a direct assault on the rule of law in Paraguay.”
“The United States stands with the people of Paraguay and opposes those who attempt to hurt individuals who labour bravely in public service,” Ostfield said.
The State Department has paid out more than $155 million as part of two prize programmes aimed at transnational crime and drugs, respectively.
Since the NRP’s inception in 1986, more than 75 “transnational criminals and significant narcotics traffickers” have been apprehended, according to the agency.