Lopez Obrador says his administration will give "great value" to Francis' views on the country
Because of Pope Francis’ “moral and spiritual” leadership, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president-elect of Mexico, has asked the pope to “accompany” a peace process in the country, plagued by clashes surrounding drug trafficking, as reported by the Spanish-language news agency EFE on July 17, 2018.
Elected July 1, López Obrador will be formally inaugurated as president of Mexico on December 1.
From now until then, he wants to organize encounters for “peace and reconciliation” in the country. Since late 2006, Mexico has been fighting a very significant war against drug cartels. The intensely violent clashes have resulted in more than 200,000 deaths.
In view of the planned peace encounters, the future Mexican president sent the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico a “cordial invitation” for the Sovereign Pontiff. López Obrador considers that the pope could “accompany” this process, because of his “moral and spiritual” leadership.
Having the pontiff’s participation would be a “privilege,” says Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his letter. His future government, he assures, will grant “great value” to the pope’s views on Mexico.
The reconciliation forums will be held between August 7 and October 24. Members of social, humanitarian, and religious organizations will be especially invited, as well as representatives of the United Nations. The reflexions are aimed at producing a “plan for public safety, and for reconciliation and peace.”
On July 14, Loretta Ortiz, coordinator of these encounters, announced that Pope Francis had accepted to participate via videoconference. This announcement was then denied by Greg Burke, director of the Press Office of the Holy See; the information, he told EFE, “was unfounded.”
The violence in Mexico has affected priests in particular. No fewer than 22 have been killed since 2012, which makes it one of the most dangerous countries in the world for them.