Advertisement

Chile's Catholic churches attacked ahead of papal visit

Chile's Catholic churches attacked ahead of papal visit
From Al Jazeera - January 12, 2018

Protesters have vandalised several Catholic churches in Chile ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the country next week, and warned they will target the Catholic leader with a "bomb".

Demonstrators used firebombs to attack four churches in the capital Santiago on Friday, leaving behind a note warning the pope: "The next bomb will be in your robe," according to Latin American broadcaster Telesur.

Authorities have said they are investigating the incidents, which caused no injuries, though they have yet to make any arrests.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet described the attacks as "very strange" and said authorities had been unable to tie the incidents to a "particular group" so far, Telesur reported.

"In a democracy, people can express themselves as long as it's done in a pacifist way," she said, and called for a "climate of respect" during the pope's upcoming visit.

Other pamphlets left by the attackers called for "autonomy and resistance" from Chile's indigenousMapuche people, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Roughly two-thirds of Chile's 1.5 million Mapuches live in squalor in urban areas, and the remainder in poor rural communities. They are the country's poorest and most marginalised segment of society.

Condemnation of attacks

Sebastian Pinera, Chile's president-elect, condemned the attacks in a statement on Twitter.

Sebastian Piera (@sebastianpinera) January 12, 2018

Advertisement

Continue reading at Al Jazeera »