|AP Photo/Esteban Felix|
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — President Michelle Bachelet requested Chileans on Friday to receive Pope Francis in a “climate of regard, ” hours after three Roman Catholic churches were firebombed as well as a note left at the scene harmful the pontiff.
In the overnight episodes in Santiago, the capital and biggest city where the pope will turn up Monday, the churches were strike with firebombs and then sprayed along with accelerant. At one, the doors had been burned before firefighters extinguished the particular blaze.
“The next bombs is going to be in your cassock, ” read essays found outside one of the churches.
Afterwards in the day, police found barrels of flammable liquid at 2 other churches that had not been captivated. They were handled by bomb squads without incident.
The pamphlets furthermore extolled the cause of the Mapuche native people, who are pushing for a come back of ancestral lands and other legal rights. Francis will celebrate Mass plus meet with Mapuches in the southern associated with Temuco on Wednesday.
After the formerly scheduled security meeting, Bachelet stated the Andean nation of seventeen million was prepared for the 1st papal visit since Saint Bob Paull II came in 1987.
“I also want to invite you many to experience this visit in a weather of respect, solidarity and joy, ” Bachelet said.
There were simply no immediate arrests in the firebombings, plus authorities downplayed their significance along with Interior Ministry official Mahmud Aleuy calling the damage “minor. ”
Chilean police did not immediately respond to questions about whether new security actions would be taken after the attacks.
Previously this week police said 18, 1000 officers would be deployed during Francis’ visits to Santiago, Temuco as well as the northern city of Iquique. Police will even have helicopters on hand and keep track of events with drones.
It was not clear who might have been behind Friday’s episodes. A small minority of Mapuches used violence to further their cause, and recent years churches have been targeted.
Chile also has a handful of anarchist groups that will periodically attack property and conflict with police during protests.
The particular pamphlet that threatened the pope mentioned the Mapuche cause plus called for the liberation of “all political prisoners in the world. ”
Hugo Alcaman, president of ENAMA, the Mapuche group that encourages nearby businesses and advocates social modify, condemned the attacks.
“We deny all types of violence, which we don’t believe is intelligent or effective, inch said Alcaman.
Francis’ visit to Chile and Peru aims to emphasize immigration, the suffering of native peoples and protecting the Amazon . com rainforest.
However sex abuse within the Chilean church and political lack of stability in Peru have become central styles as his arrival nears.
Associated Press writer Eva Vergara reported from Santiago, and Philip Prengaman reported from Rio de Janeiro.