Lifestyle & Belief

Murdered Colombian priests Rafael Reatiga and Richard Piffano hired hit men to kill themselves


Two Colombian priests allegedly hired hit men to kill them.


Christopher Furlong

Rafael Reatiga and Richard Piffano, two Colombian priests who were murdered in Bogota last year, allegedly hired hit men to kill them when at least one of them was diagnosed with AIDS, the Associated Press reported

Maritza Gonzalez of Colombia's prosecutor's office said Tuesday that the priests paid 15 million pesos or about $8,500 for the hit, according to the AP. The two were found shot to death in a car in south Bogota in January 2011. 

Investigators originally thought the pair were victims of a violent robbery, according to local news website Columbia Reports. However, a series of intercepted phone calls revealed a connection between the priests and their killers.

Prosecutors said the men had agreed to a suicide pact after one of them found out he had AIDS, but contracted hit men because they could not handle killing themselves, BBC News reported. Gonzalez said the priests had initially planned to commit suicide by throwing themselves off a cliff, according to the Huffington Post.

According to medical tests obtained by prosecutors, 36-year-old Reatiga had AIDS, Huffington Post reported. It is unclear if Piffano was also diagnosed, or if the two were in a relationship. 

Two of the four assassins have been arrested and appeared before a judge in Bogota Tuesday, AP reported. 

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