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La Prensa, Feb. 12, 2016
"Welcome!" reads Friday's front page of Mexico City-based daily La Prensa, greeting Pope Francis as he's set for an afternoon arrival in Mexico for his first visit as pontiff.
Ahead of his five-day trip, which includes a visit to a prison in the crime-riddled city of Ciudad Juarez, the Pope urged Mexicans to battle against corruption and drug gang violence: "The Mexico of violence, the Mexico of corruption, the Mexico of drug trafficking, the Mexico of cartels, is not the Mexico our Mother Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico wants," Reuters quoted the pope as saying in a video released by the Vatican last week.
Instead, La Prensa hopes the country will receive Pope Francis as the "Mexico that can sing and laugh, the land of mariachi and tequila."
The visit comes two days after 49 inmates were killed in a fight between rival groups at a prison near Monterrey, northern Mexico.
On his way to Mexico, the pontiff is scheduled to make a historic stop at Havana's airport in Cuba, where he will meet for a few hours with Patriarch Kirill the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in what AP calls "a ground-breaking step toward improving Catholic-Orthodox relations."