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This site collects all newspaper articles deemed to be relevant in order to understand the truth about Mario Paciolla's death. Not all newspapers articles have been written by referring to official sources, so there is no certainty that their content is 100% true.




Photo by Matilde Dorcadie

Mario Paciolla was an Italian UN Field Officer who was killed in circumstances not yet clarified on July 15, 2020 in Colombia in San Vicente del Caguan. Before working by the UN in Colombia to ensure the compliance with the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), he worked in Bogota with the Peace Brigades International as a liaison agent and in Italy, India, Argentina and Jordan for humanitarian organizations as a journalist and policy analyst. Mario was specialized in Asian and African politics, international relations and comparative studies in Asian language, culture and history.


On July 15, 2020, the UN agent Mario Paciolla was found lifeless in his house in San Vicente del Caguan in Colombia. Colombian authorities initially labeled the case as suicide by hanging. Shortly thereafter, however, other details emerged such as wounds on the body caused by a cutting weapon, which led to think that it could be a murder case. An autopsy was performed on 20 July but the results are still unknown. The murder hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that Mario had already purchased the plane ticket to go back to Napoli on 20th July. In addition, friends and family describe him as a boy full of life, who could never commit an extreme gesture such as suicide. Various Italian newspapers attribute the cause of his death to the Colombian problematic situation, in which the peace agreement between Colombian government and FARC is starting to falter and more and more social leaders, peace activists and ex-guerrillas are being killed. Mario Paciolla had been working to transform the Caguan River, used in the past by drug traffickers for the transport of cocaine, in a rafting track. According to some Italian newspapers, this could have bothered Colombian drug cartels, which decided to take Mario's life. However, the clues which emerged from the last phone calls between Mario and his mother seem to lead to a different conclusion from the one told by Italian newspapers; Mario, in fact, told his mother that "the behaviour of a person known to him was making him feel threatened". In another phone call with his mother, Mario said that "he had a big fight with his bosses and got into trouble". Mario also said several times that "he was not liking the way things were going on the workplace" and that "he was feeling dirty and wanted to take a bath in the waters of Naples". The fact that Mario was working from his house in smart-working due to the coronavirus lockdown and that, according to his mother, during that time he only met people belonging to his organization, gives rise to further suspicions that something may have happened in the workplace, after the fight between Mario and his bosses by 10th of July. Until now, UN has not revealed yet the content of this fight. Important clues have also been provided by testimonies of Mario's collaborators, such as the investigative journalist Claudia Julieta Duque, who, in her article written for "El Espectador", recalls an episode in which Mario told her he had been accused by a colleague of being a spy. The Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio and the mayor of Napoli Luigi De Magistris have mobilized to put pressure on the Colombian government and the UN in order to find out the truth about what happened to Mario Paciolla. UN has also expressed the will to cooperate with the authorities but, until now, it has obstacled the investigation with the complicity of Colombian police. After more than one month has gone by since Mario's death, autopsy results are still unknown.

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