At least 5,700 federal and state law enforcement agents will provide security during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Mexico’s Guanajuato state later this month, state emergency management chief Laura Gurza said.
Gurza toured the city of Silao’s Guanajuato Bicentenario Park, where some 600,000 people are expected to attend an open-air Mass in the morning on March 25, to get a firsthand look at security.
The security operation is well designed and covers all possible contingencies that could arise during the pope’s visit, Gurza said.
“As of now, we have confirmed the participation of 5,700 officers from different agencies, who will be joined by presidential security service and Public Safety Secretariat personnel,” Gurza said.
“Several command centers, first aid stations, medical centers and mobile hospitals will be deployed strategically,” the official said.
Roads will only be closed temporarily while the pope is being transported to the different cities he is scheduled to visit in Guanajuato, Gurza said.
People planning to attend the Mass and other events expected to draw large crowds should leave children and the elderly at home, the state emergency management chief said.
Umbrellas and food that could spoil will not be allowed at public events, Gurza said.
Pope Benedict XVI has events scheduled in three cities in Guanajuato during his March 23-26 visit.
The biggest crowds are expected for the pope’s drives through Leon on the afternoon of March 23, when he will arrive in the city, and on March 26, the day that he will leave for Santiago, Cuba.
Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to stay at Leon’s Colegio Miraflores during his visit to Mexico.
No details have been released on the route to be taken by the Popemobile during Benedict XVI’s visit and officials have not said how many volunteers have been recruited to form the human wall planned along the route.
The Catholic Church has called for at least 75,000 young people to serve as volunteers in support tasks.