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Poison Wine Kills Two in Colombia

April 11, 1998

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ A Roman Catholic priest and a woman died after drinking wine at a pre-Easter ceremony that was apparently laced with poison.

The Rev. Jesus David Saenz and Marina Rojas died after drinking the wine on Thursday at a church in Villavicencio, 55 miles southeast of the capital of Bogota, police said Friday.

The wine was sent to the church by mail, along with chocolate and other sweets.

Others who were given a glass of the wine spit it out because it tasted unusual, police said.

Authorities were investigating the incident and another apparent poisoning on Friday in Sibate, just outside Bogota. Two people became ill after drinking wine that was given to the local church.

No arrests have been made in either case.

``I don’t understand how they could take the life of a priest, a man of peace and reconciliation,″ Archbishop Pedro Rubiano of Bogota told Radionet radio. ``It’s an atrocity and God will judge the people who have done this.″

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