Ecatepec : Pope Francis waded into one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities on Sunday to celebrate an open-air mass with more than 300 000 Catholic faithful longing for a message of peace.
Throngs lined the concrete-laden streets of Ecatepec, whose walls were decorated with graffiti art featuring the pope’s image, to cheer the pontiff on the second full day of a trip that will take him to other Mexican hotspots.
The rough Mexico City suburb of 1.6 million people has become infamous for a spate of disappearances of women, whose bodies have turned up in abandoned lots or canals.
The city lies in the populous state of Mexico, where some 600 women have been killed between January 2014 and September 2015, according to the non-governmental National Citizen Observatory of Femicides.
The 79-year-old Argentine pontiff arrived from Mexico City by helicopter after flying over the majestic Moon and Sun pyramids of the pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan.
Thousands of pilgrims spent the night outdoors, wrapping themselves in blankets and using cardboard as makeshift tents against freezing temperatures on the field where the mass will be held.
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