Pope Benedict XVI had some fighting words for Mexican drug cartels ahead of his visit to the country today. "We must do everything possible to fight this evil which destroys our young. We must unmask this evil, these false promises and lies," Benedict told reporters on the plane taking him to Mexico today. "Our duty, our great responsibility, is to educate consciences, to teach our young moral responsibility" and turn them away from "the worship of money which enslaves men ... I share Mexicans' joy and hope but also their anguish and grief," he said. That's a rather fair assessment of the atrocities in Mexico, where according to the AFP report, over 50,000 have died in the last five years due to the drug wars. And lest we remind you, with things like "murder camps" and "killing people with a sledgehammer" training, Mexican drug cartels are capable of some pretty horrific things.
But fear not for his holiness. According to the Prensa Latina News outlet, over 84,000 have volunteered to help to ensure Pope Benedict remains safe, adding to the federal forces stationed in Guanajuato for the Pope's visit today. It also turns out Pope Benedict might even have cartel protection, as the AP has reported that the pseudo-religious Mexican gang, The Knights Templar has "put out banners warning rival gangs to stay away and not create trouble during the pope's stay." Nevertheless, an extra layer of bulletproof glass never hurt anyone.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.