Just days ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Peru a giant Christ statue in the capital donated by the Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America’s largest corruption scandal was damaged in a fire.
Francis is latin America’s first pope, but he will not be visiting his home, Argentina, to avoid embroilment in domestic politics there. On his agenda is protecting the Amazon, but Peruvians will be paying close attention to whether or not he addresses corruption, a topic Francis frequently rails against.
Four churches were also attacked in Chile, where the pope begins his trip on Monday. Homemade bombs inflicted only minor damage, while notes threatening the pope were left behnd.
During the Pope’s visit, protests are expected on issues ranging from indigenous rights to an ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Church.
The capital, Santiago, is busily putting the finishing touches on preparations for the visit, which begins on Monday.
A mass Francis plans to hold on Tuesday in a Santiago park is expected to attract more than 500,000 people.