Associated Press via Washington Post
January 12, 2018
By Eva Vergara and Peter Prengaman
President Michelle Bachelet asked Chileans on Friday to receive Pope Francis in a “climate of respect,” hours after three Roman Catholic churches were firebombed and a note left at the scene threatening the pontiff.
In the overnight attacks in Santiago, the capital and largest city where the pope will arrive Monday, the churches were hit with firebombs and then sprayed with accelerant. At one, the doors were burned before firefighters extinguished the blaze.
“The next bombs will be in your cassock,” read pamphlets found outside one of the churches.
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It was unclear who might have been behind Friday’s attacks. A small minority of Mapuches have used violence to further their cause, and in recent years churches have been targeted.
Chile also has a handful of anarchist groups that periodically attack property and clash with police during protests.
The pamphlet that threatened the pope mentioned the Mapuche cause and called for the liberation of “all political prisoners in the world.”
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