Pope Francis To Visit Drug War-Torn Mexico

By May Wilkerson 12/15/15

The popular papal leader once claimed that Mexican drug violence was the work of the devil.

Image: 
Pope Francis
Shutterstock

Pope Francis plans to visit drug war-torn Mexico in February, the Vatican announced over the weekend. The South American-born papal leader, who has been heralded for his progressive views on social issues, will visit the country’s most ravaged areas: the states of Michoacán, Chihuahua and Chiapas, as well as Mexico City.

Michoacán, in the west of Mexico, and Chihuahua in the north, have both seen ongoing violence as Mexican drug cartels battle each other and federal forces. The pope will also visit Ciudad Juárez, a northern border city known as the country’s “murder capital.”

In addition to meeting with Catholic bishops and indigenous leaders, Francis will reportedly meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss issues of security, human rights and poverty. The Mexican president has come under fire for accusations of corruption and security scandals, including the highly-publicized escape of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera from maximum security prison in July.

Despite widespread reports that the violence has decreased under Peña Nieto’s leadership, the Wall Street Journal reported in October that Mexico City’s murder rate had reached its highest levels since 1998 and homicide rates across the country had risen 5% since the start of the year. Tens of thousands of people have died and countless more have gone missing in Mexico ever since 2007, when former president Felipe Calderón first declared war on the drug cartels.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Disqus comments
May Wilkerson.jpg

May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

Disqus comments