Long-time political, cultural figure Alberto Cañas, to be buried today

Today has been declared a day of national mourning to honor Alberto Cañas Escalante, who died Saturday.

Cañas, 94, had a long career as a journalist, politician and the country’s ambassador to the United Nations. He also was the country’s first

Casket bearing Alberto Cañas is brought into the Teatro Nacional.

Casket bearing Alberto Cañas is brought into the Teatro Nacional.

minister of culture, a legislator and president of the Asamblea Legislativa.

He also served as secretary to the Junta Fundadora de la Segunda República, the nation’s leadership set up by winners in the 1948 civil war.

He founded the journalism school at the Universidad de Costa Rica and was recognized as an expert in the Spanish language.

Cañas was active until his death in the political arena. He was considered one of the closest collaborators of Luis Guillermo Solís, according to a statement from the president.

Cañas was taken Sunday to the Teatro Nacional where he will be visited by the public until his funeral today at 10 a.m. in the Iglesia  Don Bosco.

Elizabeth Fonseca, the minister of culture, said that Cañas was one of the individuals most important in the cultural sector in the history of the country. Among other achievements he founded the Compañía Nacional de Teatro. He also worked until the day he died, she said.

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