updated 7/23/2013 7:49:31 PM ET 2013-07-23T23:49:31

In his first international trip as pontiff, Pope Francis was swarmed by a mob of people while driving through downtown Rio de Janeiro. The incident raised concerns about whether his security was adequate.

Pope Francis’ first international trip as pontiff got off to a rocky start, as crowds of people in downtown Rio de Janeiro swarmed the 76-year-old’s vehicle to take pictures and reach out to the head of the Catholic Church.

Though the pope, who traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day, called the welcome “magnificent” on Twitter, many were taken aback by mounting security concerns.

In addition to the mob that rushed the pope’s Fiat–which authorities attributed to a wrong turn made by the driver–police also found a homemade explosive device in the parking garage of a shrine that Francis was set to visit this week, reports The New York Times. Authorities used water cannons and rubber bullets to break up a crowd of demonstrators after violence erupted following the pope’s address Monday.

Moving forward, security forces will likely take extra precautions to prevent any more incidents, said former U.S. secret service agent Evyenia Poumpouras on NewsNation Tuesday. “An estimated $53 million has been put in from [Brazil’s] government to help provide security for this visit,” she said.

The pope himself declined enhanced security measures such as a bulletproof car, choosing instead to be more accessible.

Brazil has seen a series of clashes across the country between police officers and anti-government protesters who are calling for lower taxes and better public services. Despite the trip’s tumultuous beginning, Poumpouras expects the pope will maintain the same level of accessibility.

“I don’t think anything like this will deter him because nothing happened,” she said. But security forces will probably be more “on edge now.”

Video: Is safety a concern for the Pope during his Brazil trip?

  1. Closed captioning of: Is safety a concern for the Pope during his Brazil trip?

    >>> welcome back. pope francis is resting today after a tumultuous start to his visit to brazil that is raising some serious concerns regarding his safety. as he drove into rio yesterday from the airport, crowds crushed around his small silver fiat to touch the pontiff and even get pictures. his car was forced to stop about a half dozen times as security guards struggled repeatedly to push the crowd back. all of this after his motorcade made a wrong turn. at one point, a woman rushed to the pope's car with her baby. a security guard helped her to it the pope's open window , and he reached out to touch the infant beforehanding the child back to its mother. now, according to the concerns, the discovery of adding to the concerns the discovery of a pipe bomb at a shine the pope is scheduled to visit. let me bring in a former security agent . there was a security expert on "nightly news" who said he was flabbergasted by the lack of security and at least the preparation for the pope's visit. what are your thoughts?

    >> yes, i agree with that. making a wrong turn and driving into a crowd like that, then having people gain access to the vehicle to the point where the window is open and something can hand over a baby, what if they were handing over something else? these are not mistakes that should be made with an individual like the pope.

    >> and that goes without saying here. when you hear that his motorcade made the wrong turn there, i hate to put it this way, but should heads roll today as the pope prepares to continue his visit? he's resting today, but there should be some, one would think, who are not resting after what we're seeing here.

    >> that is probably correct. the individual who is responsible for the vehicles is the one who's having his head rolled today. and they probably are taking even extra precautions now not soft anymore mistakes happen because of all these incidents piling up.

    >> would one individual be responsible for this? i would think that there would be a number of, you know, departments who come together to ensure the safety of any leader but let alone the pope.

    >> so when you do some type of protection assignment like this overseas, you have a couple of groups involved. obviously the swiss guard who is protecting the pope. then we have the host government. their law enforcement as well as their military assets. an estimated $53 million has been put in from the government to help provide security for this visit.

    >> when we look at this, we also know the pope has said he does not want to use the bullet proof pope mobile used business i had pred succe -- used by his predecessors. at some point, does someone step in and say to him that it's simply not safe?

    >> i'm sure they already have. and this is where you have a conflict between the security division and the protectee and their staff and not wanting to be in a ballistic vehicle is compromising. it offers a lot of problems. now you have to put the scope of security further out because a ballistic vehicle does offer protection from any type of small explosive and any type of active shooter scenario. it's a significant thing.

    >> do you feel confident this is a lesson learned, even for the pope, even for the pontiff, who again, takes great pride in being connected to the people and not just the elite?

    >> i think he specifically wants to be connected to it the people, and i don't think anything like this will deter him because nothing happened. for the security aspect, the security side of the house, i think they're concerned and they're going to be a little more on edge now.

    >> all right. thank you so much for your time. i greatly appreciate it. we're following


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