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07/14/09 - EFE (Madrid) - Spain asks Cuba for information on priest's murder

Madrid, Jul 14 (EFE).- Spain asked Cuban authorities for information about 
the death of Spanish priest Mariano Arroyo, who was found stabbed and 
partially burned in his parish apartment on the outskirts of Havana, 
diplomatic sources told Efe on Tuesday.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry asked, through Madrid's Embassy in Havana, for 
the "maximum clarification" about the deed, which came five months after the 
murder of another Spanish priest, Eduardo de la Fuente Serranno, in Cuba 
under strange circumstances, according to the sources.

The ministry is in contact with Arroyo's family and with ecclesiastical 
authorities to help them with the procedures for transporting the body to 
Spain once an autopsy has been performed.

Arroyo, who was born in 1935 and came to Cuba to carry out pastoral work in 
1998, was found on Monday stabbed and burned in his room at the parish house 
at the Church of Our Lady of Regla, on the outskirts of Havana.

The priest had been seen by his church colleagues for the last time on 
Sunday, when he celebrated two Masses.

The priest was a man who was dedicated to others and for practically his 
entire life he lived outside of Spain helping the less fortunate, first in 
Chile and later in Cuba, according to his friend, the Rev. Avelino Seco.

Arroyo had planned on Saturday to go on vacation with family members in the 
northern Spanish region of Cantabria, where he was born and where his family 
wants him to be buried, Seco added.


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