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Pope denounces corruption and violence in Mexico ahead of visit

Pope Francis holds a skullcap given to him by a faithful as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Pope Francis is denouncing corruption, violence and drug-trafficking in Mexico, telling Mexicans that he will use his upcoming visit to pray with them for “the gift of peace.”

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In a video message Wednesday, Francis said Mexico was living its own type of “war,” full of suffering and violence. He said he was going there not to offer solutions to their problems, but to share their faith.

He said he would pray with them “so that the problems of violence, corruption and everything that you know that is happening resolves itself, because the Mexico of violence, of corruption, of drug-trafficking and cartels isn’t the Mexico that our mother (the Madonna) wants.”

Francis’s Feb. 12-18 trip will take him to some of the most violent and poverty-stricken parts of Mexico.