Suspect Admits To Taking $8000 For Prosecutor Beach Murder On Honeymoon: According to Venezuela, a suspect in the execution-style shooting of a Paraguayan anti-drug prosecutor who was shot dead while on his honeymoon on a Caribbean island has admitted to collecting $8,000.
Gabriel Carlos Luis Salinas Mendoza, a Venezuelan national detained in Caracas on Tuesday, appears to confess to his involvement in the murder of Marcelo Pecci in a video that Interior Minister of Venezuela Remigio Ceballos shared with journalists.
One of the two alleged hitmen, Salinas, is heard telling interrogators, “We rented a jet ski, we went to Baru beach (in Colombia), and we performed” the crime.
After that, “I obtained $8,000 and crossed the border to Venezuela.”
Pecci, 45, was shot twice and killed in May while lounging on a beautiful island beach with his wife, journalist Claudia Aguilera of Paraguay.
On April 30, the pair exchanged vows in the nearby city of Cartagena.
According to the BBC, Aguilera announced their pregnancy in a picture she uploaded on her Instagram account just two hours prior to the attack. According to Aguilera, two males rode a jet ski or small boat to the shore. Pecci was shot twice “without a word” by someone who approached him.
In the video, he claims that he was performing for Francisco Correa, also known as “El Monin.”
Salinas will be tried in Venezuela, according to Ceballos, whose country’s law forbids extradition to other nations.
The investigation has not yet revealed who the crime’s organizers were. For information “leading to the arrests and/or convictions of the as yet unknown people who conspired or attempted to engage” in the assassination, the U.S. State Department this month offered a prize of $5 million.
According to Reuters, four additional people were given prison terms totaling more than 23 years earlier this year in Colombia for their roles in the murder of Pecci.
Pecci had expertise in money laundering, terrorism financing, drug trafficking, and organized crime.
In an 11-year fight against transnational and drug crime, Pecci had won significant convictions, according to Sandra Quinonez, the attorney general of Paraguay, at the time of his murder.
According to the BBC, Pecci had bodyguards in Paraguay but none while in Colombia for his honeymoon.
Despite a 2016 peace agreement that disarmed the FARC rebel group and put an end to a nearly six-decade civil struggle, Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine, is currently dealing with a surge of violence.
Dissident FARC rebels, the ELN rebel group, paramilitary forces, and drug cartels continue to fight over territory and resources in some parts of the nation, especially in regions that border Venezuela.
For its part, landlocked Paraguay, which is sandwiched between Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, has developed into a significant drug transportation hub for drugs going to Europe.
Recently, Paraguay and Colombia improved their cooperation in the fight against transnational and organized crime.
A statement criticizing Pecci’s “untimely killing at the hands of assassins for no obvious reason other than that he excelled at his work” was released by the New York City Bar Association in June.