Home Eighteen thousand police officers will participate in security operations during Pope Francis’ visit

 Last Tuesday, minister of the Interior José Serrano informed that 18,000 police officers from the National Police will be part of the security operations during Pope Francis’ visit to the Andean country, which will take place during three days (July 6 to 8).

“18 thousand police officers will be part of the citizen security system in Quito and Guayaquil, as well as 6 helicopters, 100 men of the cavalry, 200 GIR members, 400 GOE members, 150 police dogs,” Serrano informed through his Twitter account.

On another tweet, Serrano indicated that the access and escape routes for citizens will be informed next week.

Pope Francis will visit Quito and Guayaquil between July 6 and 8 as part of his official tour in Latin America, which includes visits to Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pontifical Council confirmed last April 16.

The announcement was made during a press conference by archbishops from Quito and Guayaquil alongside the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and foreign minister Ricardo Patiño.

“The Holy See confirmed that his Holiness, by accepting the invitation of the head of state and Ecuadorian bishops, will have an apostolic journey in our country between July 6 to 8,” Cardinal Raúl Vela, archbishop emeritus in Quito, affirmed.

Vela also pointed out that this visit will take place 30 years after the visit of John Paul II to Ecuador. “The news filled our people with joy since the very moment that Pope Francis published it last January.”

Rafael Correa emphasized that this is the first official visit of a Latin American Pope to a Spanish speaking country. “He was in Brazil in the Youth Meeting, but this is the first official visit of a Latin American Pope to a Spanish speaking country in Latin America.”

The head of state said that the exact agenda with Pope’s itinerary will be announced mid-May, but what is known is that he will arrive to Guayaquil, then Quito and will later travel to Bolivia and Paraguay.

According to figures of the National Institute of Statistics and Census, 81 percent of the Ecuadorian population is Catholic. “Eight of every 10 Ecuadorians who say they have a religious affiliation, they are catholic,” revealed the first study carried out by this institution regarding religions in the country.

Source: :  La Agencia de Noticias del Ecuador y Sudamérica (ANDES)