Priests hire hitmen in apparent suicide

In this Thursday Jan. 27, 2011 file photo, faithful attend a Mass in the memory of two Catholic priests who were murdered in Bogota, Colombia. File,AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez

BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombia's prosecutors office says two Catholic priests hired hitmen to kill the priests themselves when at least one of them was diagnosed with AIDS.

Maritza Gonzalez with the prosecutor's office said Tuesday that priests Rafael Reatiga and Richard Piffano paid 15 million pesos or about $8,500 for the hit. They were found shot to death dead in January 2011 in a car in southern Bogota.

Gonzalez said the priests had planned to commit suicide by throwing themselves off a cliff but couldn't bring themselves to jump. She said medical tests showed 36-year-old Reatiga had AIDS.

Two of the four assassins have been arrested and appeared before a judge in Bogota Tuesday for processing.

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