Bogotá, Oct. 6 (EFE) – Francisco Correa, under investigation for the alleged organization of the murder of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Colombia in May 2022, accused former president Horacio Cartes (2013-2018) on Friday of planning the crime. Cartes says the accusation is baseless and fabricated.
Correa also accused drug trafficker Miguel Ángel Insfrán, aka “Tío Rico,” of being involved in the assassination.
Correa said in a hearing in Colombia that “Dr. Marcelo Pecci had imprisoned a brother of each of them (Cartes and Insfrán)” and “they were not going to stand still,” so they decided to murder Pecci.
“Both the former president and Mr. ‘Tío Rico’ were the ones who began planning and contacted the Pérez Hoyos brothers (Andrés Felipe and Ramón Emilio) and Lizeth Chacón Zúñiga, aka Mrs. Margaret, to murder of Dr. Marcelo,” said the witness.
Former Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes said on Friday that Correa’s accusation was “baseless.”
“I am extremely outraged by a baseless accusation that was clearly made with the desire to harm me,” the former leader posted on X (formerly Twitter).
“I have always had appreciation and admiration for prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, and it pains me to think of him and his family with this terrible lie,” he added.
Cartes, who is the current president of the ruling Colorado Party, assured that “justice will reveal the truth.”
Pedro Ovelar, the former president’s lawyer, described the accusation as “absolutely unfounded, unfair,” “manipulated,” and “distorted,” and warned that it could come “from some dark national or international sector.”
Ovelar stated that he has “the serenity and security to defend an innocent person” who “feels that his rights have been violated”.
“Whether in Paraguay or Colombia, President Horacio Cartes will always tell the truth, he will always be available and we will seek legal mechanisms,” the lawyer added.
Pecci, one of the most important anti-mafia prosecutors in Paraguay, was murdered in May 2022 by assassins on a jet ski while he was honeymooning with Paraguayan journalist Claudia Aguilera on a hotel beach on the island of Barú, near Cartagena in the Colombian coast.
In April, prosecutors accused Chacón of helping to plan Pecci’s murder.
“The evidence indicates that this woman (Mrs Margaret) was apparently present at meetings held in Medellín and Cartagena between May 5 and 8, 2022, where trips were defined and money was given to carry out the criminal plan,” the prosecutor’s office added.
According to them, Lizeth’s partner, Andrés Felipe Pérez, also participated in the meetings along with his brother, Ramón Emilio, and Francisco Luis Correa, accused of organizing the murder, who appeared before the Colombian justice system on Friday.
In February, the Paraguayan National Police and Attorney General’s Office confirmed the arrest of “Tío Rico” in Brazil as part of an operation against organized crime.
Colombian authorities have arrested seven people on suspicion of involvement in the murder of the state prosecutor.
Investigators believe the crime may be linked to the First Capital Command (PCC), a gang born in Brazilian prisons that has tentacles throughout the region.
Arrests have also been made in Venezuela and El Salvador.EFE