A letter from Pope Francis to an Argentine lawmaker named Gustavo Vera has angered Mexicans due to its contents which touched on an increase of drug activity and corruption in the Pope’s home nation.
In particular, Pope Francis referred to this increase in crime as “Mexicanization” since many of these problems are a reality in the nation. Now, Mexico is sending an official protest note to the Vatican over these comments, which is a formal complaint through diplomats.
The Pope’s Letter
It is unclear how the Pope’s personal correspondence made it into the public view, but its contents were revealed to several officials in Argentina as well as Mexico. The Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said that this was an attempt by the Vatican to “stigmatize” the nation. Meade took time to meet with an Archbishop that acts as the Vatican’s representative in Mexico and expressed a great deal of sadness over the contents of the letter.
The letter that was sent by Pope Francis cited a large increase in the amount of drug trafficking and corruption in the nation that extends into the local governments. Apparently the Pope had been speaking with several bishops within the Mexican church and found that the situation is dire. With cartel drug wars and infamous shootings along the border between Mexico and the United States, there are significant problems in the nation.
Vatican says #PopeFrancis didn’t intend to hurt Mexicans’ feelings by warning against the “Mexicanization” of Argentina by drug traffickers
— Francis X. Rocca (@FrancisXRocca) February 25, 2015
The Mexican Bishops
Last week, the Mexican bishops released a declaration that condemned the high levels of corruption in the economical and political aspects of the Mexican government. They say that this level of corruption tends to breed even more corruption and needs the help of a national organization that is dedicated to rooting out these problems. After all, such corruption that has encapsulated the government requires an autonomous body with resources and professionalism that itself is resistant to systemic corruption.
Explaining The Pope’s Words
Gustavo Vera, the individual who received the letter, said that the words were not meant to condemn Mexicans. He noted that the Pope loves the people of the country and only wants what is best for them. However, when there are such high levels of violence and corruption in the nation, he argued, there has to be some level of complicity between the perpetrators of the crimes and those who allow it to continue.
While this explanation may be good enough for some, Meade has said that the letter highlights the challenges that the people of Mexico must face if they are to rid themselves of such criminal acts.