More than 500 people, including security forces, are searching for a 79 year-old Xaverian missionary who has been missing since Sunday.
Gustavo Vélez Vasquez, also known as ‘Padre Calixto’, from the Yarumal Institute (a regular society for apostolic life in Colombia), was last seen in the forest in the natural reserve of San Sebastian, in north western Antioquia.
The Medellin daily paper ‘El Colombiano’, reports that the only traces of the missing priest is a hat made from woven leaves which was found hanging from a tree.
Padre Calixto was last seen on Sunday walking into the forest after lunch, without taking any food or water provisions. He was dressed very lightly. On Sunday night he called a friend saying that he was near a lake and that he would not leave from there. He said that he was well although the cold was getting to him.
The search organisers have said they hope ot find Fr Gustavo as soon as possible because temperatures in the area can drop as low as zero degrees centegrade at night,
Padre Calixto is a well-known priest in Colombia. He has written articles on religious subjects on ‘El Colombiano’ for more than 30 years.