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Panama’s sole Catholic cardinal found alive after brief disappearance

Authorities have found alive a Roman Catholic cardinal who disappeared this week in western Panama near the border with Costa Rica, church officials said Thursday, hours after confirming the cleric’s disappearance.

Panama’s Episcopal Conference said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Spanish Cardinal José Luis Lacunza had been found after last being seen Tuesday. They did not immediately provide details.


Prosecutors in the state of Chiriqui had said earlier in the day that they opened an investigation. Lacunza, 79, is the bishop for the David archdiocese in Chiriqui.

The archdiocese confirmed in a statement that Lacunza had not been seen since Tuesday afternoon and said it had reported his disappearance to authorities.

Panama’s interim attorney general, Javier Caraballo, told reporters in Panama City that investigators were travelling from the capital to Chiriqui to conduct interviews.

Lacunza is the only Catholic cardinal in Panama.

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