Gay priests in suicide pact hired four hitmen
TWO Colombian priests hired hitmen to kill themselves in what authorities say was a suicide pact.
Police initially suspected robbery when Rafael Reatiga's body was found along with that of Rev. Richard Piffano (37) in a car in southern Bogota, Colombia on January 27, last year.
But now prosecutor Ana Patricia Larrota said investigators had determined that it was suicide by hitmen in the year-old case: the two priests hired gunmen to kill them after Reatiga discovered he had AIDS.
The priests gave members of a criminal gang the equivalent of $8,500 (¤6,400), said prosecutor, Maritza Gonzalez, as two of the four alleged assassins appeared before a judge.
She said the two priests had originally planned to throw themselves off a cliff but apparently lacked the nerve.
In addition to AIDS, Reatiga had syphilis and witness testimony indicated he was a regular visitor to places frequented by gays in central Bogota.
Gildardo Alberto Penate and Isidro Castiblanco are charged with aggravated homicide.