Pope Remembers Mexican Students Murdered in Iguala

Also Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Argentinian-Chilean Peace Treaty

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In his weekly general audience today, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the Mexican people following the tragic murder of 43 student in Iguala.

Tensions between the Mexican people and the federal government have escalated after it was discovered that the student-teachers were kidnapped, killed, then burned by a local gang under the orders of the town mayor.

“I want in some way to express to the Mexican people, those present here and those who are in their country, my closeness in this painful moment of the disappearance, and what we now know, the murder of these students,” the Pope said.

“It shows the dramatic reality of all the criminality that exists behind the sale and trafficking of drugs. I am close to you and your families.”

The murder of the Mexican students is considered one of the worst cases of abuse of authority in Latin America. Protests have broken out around the country amidst calls for radical government reform.

Power of dialogue

At the audience, the Holy Father also remembered the 30th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between his native Argentina and Chile.

A border dispute between the two countries in 1978, known as the Beagle conflict, brought them to the brink of war. Pope John Paul II sent his personal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samoré, to help ease tensions. One year later the Vatican was formally requested to mediate the conflict, and by 1984, a Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed.

Noting the presence of Chilean military personnel at the audience, Pope Francis reflected that the conflict and its peaceful resolution is testament to the power of dialogue. “Only the will to dialogue can solve problems,” he said.

The Pope concluded by remembering the efforts of St. John Paul II and Cardinal Samoré, who “did so much to achieve peace between us.”</p>

“May all people who have conflicts of any kind, be it neighboring or cultural, be encouraged to solve them at the table of dialogue and not in the cruelty of war,” he said.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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