Pope Francis met with minor offenders in Panama
Today the Supreme Pontiff will visit the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores de Pacora (Pacora Minors Detention Center) in which at least 167 minors are detained for different felonies, from armed robbery to homicide
Francis opened a space in his agenda during his visit to Panama to meet minors who are incarcerated in a center on the outskirts of the city.
This Friday, from the early hours, children, young people and adults received with anticipation the arrival of Pope Francis to Las Garzas neighborhood, in the area of Pacora, a rural area of Panama City. The visit was part of the official agenda of the Pope during the XXXIV World Youth Day (WYD).
Today the Supreme Pontiff will visit the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores de Pacora (Pacora Minors Detention Center) in which at least 167 minors are detained for different felonies, from armed robbery to homicide.
According to information from the Government Ministry, the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores en Pacora, which was opened in 2012, located in a community located around 50 kilometers from the city center, is based on an intervention model that allows the rehabilitation of the youngster through education, training and the creation of a life project that will be put in action once the minor obtains his freedom.
At the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores de Pacora, Francis has a personal meeting with three minors and also officiated a religious ceremony to which the majority of the detainees assisted.
Many of the minors detained in this center do not profess any religion, some are from other Christian denominations, but all of them were received by the Pope who gave them his blessing.
The Pope spoke with the minors about the opportunities they have as young people and above all about the new possibility of becoming someone in life, despite having committed mistakes.
From the beginning of his papacy and inclusive before, Francis has given special attention to those deprived of their freedom.
To get to the Centro de Cumplimiento in Pacora, Francis crossed the entire city of Panama, which he did in a closed vehicle through one of the corridors (fast track) and then traveled about 15 kilometers in the already popular Popemobile.
From very early on, entire families, men, women and children were on the sidewalks of the area he passed through to greet him or receive his blessing.
For Joseht Caballero, resident of the area, to see the maximum leader of the Catholic Church was “very exciting” and he expect that the rampant delinquency in the sector in which he lives will diminish with the arrival of the Supreme Pontiff.
Others wish that Francis visit “will strengthen them”, was the desire of Mrs Elizabeth Taylor, a resident of Las Garzas.
Translation by Marijulia Pujol