12/01/2018 Society

Attacks against Catholic churches: "For the Pope 10 billion and the poor we die in the populations",

At least four attacks were perpetrated during the early hours of today in different sectors of Santiago de Chile, with slogans critical of the visit that Pope Francisco will start Monday in the country, according to police sources.


Pope Francis in Ecuador
Pope Francis in Ecuador


Archive lana 08/07/2015


The attacks occurred in the municipalities of Estación Central, Recoleta, Peñalolén and Santiago Centro, and in three of the cases the churches suffered damage, mainly in their doors and facades, while the fourth case was neutralized by the police, the sources said.

The authors left pamphlets with political slogans against the visit of Francisco, who between Monday 15 and Thursday 18 January will visit Santiago and the cities of Temuco (south) and Iquique (north), where he will head mass masses.

In Central Station, the Santa Isabel parish of Hungary was affected, where unknown people threw a cloth impregnated with fuel at the entrance and then applied fire, causing a fire that was controlled by firemen.

"Freedom to all the political prisoners of the world, Wallmapu (Mapuche territory) free, autonomy and resistance, Pope Francis the next bombs will be in your cassock," said the pamphlets left in the place.

Fernando Ibáñez, a priest who lives in that parish, told Radio Cooperativa that a couple of hours earlier some young individuals passed by the church hurling expletives, but he did not think that an attack of this kind would occur.

"I heard the dog barking and from my window I saw the glow of a flame, I got up and told the priest of the place, Father Cristian, the neighbors shouted, called us and the only thing I managed was to take out the hose and begin to turn off the fire", he added.

In Recoleta, the attack affected the Emanuel chapel, where at 3 o'clock local time unknown, they threw a bomb that exploded ripped the door and broke some windows, according to the police.

"As a result of the incident, glass and the main door of the church were damaged, and some elements were found that were labeled to be sent to the Office of the Prosecutor," Carabineros captain Eduardo Grandón told reporters.

In the early hours of the morning, the Undersecretary of the Interior, Mahmud Aleuy, arrived at the site, condemning the use of violence to demonstrate, while the government announced later that those responsible for the attacks will be brought to justice.

In Peñalolén, a similar attack affected the Cristo Vencedor chapel, where unknown people exploded a bomb that caused little damage.

The police found in that place a fire extinguisher and a plastic container that are being submitted to expert reports, although in this case no pamphlets were found.

In the Cristo Pobre sanctuary, located near the Quinta Normal station of the Metro, the police neutralized an apparently fuel-laden jerrycan that strangers left in the entrance, in an operation that included the diversion of vehicular and pedestrian traffic through the site.

On the wall, next to the entrance, the authors wrote "for the Pope 10 billion and the poor we die in the populations".