The bereaved and devoted parishioners of Father Richard Piffano, 37, and Father Rafael Reatiga, 35, say the men were killed by street robbers in all too common Colombian scenario. The police have another theory.
Two Colombian priests who were found shot dead in the capital Bogota a year ago themselves hired the assassins who killed them, prosecutors say. They said the priests had agreed a suicide pact after one of them was diagnosed with AIDS, but contracted hitmen because they could not bring themselves to carry it out. Prosecutors allege they paid the suspected hitmen around $8,500 (£5,440) to kill them and make it look like a robbery attempt. The two priests had been friends since their training and often celebrated Mass and other religious services together, Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper reported. In his final church service, Father Reatiga asked parishioners to pray to Santa Marta, the patron saint of lost causes, the paper reported, while Father Piffano asked his to “pray for me”.
Relatives of the priests deny they were gay.