“Then people stop coming out of fear”

Violence in Mexico © Eduardo Verdugo

For fear of failing tourists, the Papal Nuncio in Mexico, Archbishop Coppola, should remain silent about the violence in the country, according to his own statements. Former President Pena Nieto had asked him to do this.

The Papal Nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Franco Coppola, says he has been urged by the former government of former President Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018) to remain silent on violence and crime in the country.

Coppola reported that in 2018 he was asked by members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to raise the ie of violence more: "Monsenor, please do not talk so much about the violence in Mexico, which is harmful to tourism. Then people stop coming out of fear," Coppola recalled over the weekend, according to media reports, during a visit to Aguililla in the troubled province of Michoacan, which is particularly embattled by drug cartels.

Only rarely a topic in public

Coppola said he had informed Pope Francis that he wanted to visit the city to make the violence more visible and to signal the church’s support for the suffering population. "The duty of the Church is to stand on the side of those who suffer. So I wanted to come here," Coppola said. People in Aguililla greeted the nuncio with white balloons.

He said he was surprised that the ie of violence is barely reflected in public discussion in Mexico even today. After all, numerous Mexican cities are among the most violent in the world, and last year alone 35.000 people killed in violence.

Mexico’s incumbent leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had declared the fight against violence and crime to be a central task of his presidency, but so far he has not achieved any significant successes.

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