Mexico calls in papal ambassador over Francis remark

The Mexican government has complained to a papal ambassador after Pope Francis warned against “Mexicanisation” in a letter.

The Pope’s remark came in a private letter to a director of an Argentine NGO that tries to combat drug crime.

Francis wrote, “I hope we’re in time to avoid Mexicanisation. I was talking to some Mexican bishops and it’s become a thing of horror there”.

Mexican foreign minister Jose Antonio Meade said Francis’s remarks had “stigmatised” the country.

“Mexico is making enormous efforts to combat drug trafficking,” he stressed.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, said Francis meant in no way to offend the Mexican population “for whom he holds a special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narco-trafficking”.

The Pope was merely trying to emphasise the seriousness of the problem, Fr Lombardi said.

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