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Vatican: No Offense Meant by Pope's 'Mexicanization' Remark

 / Updated 
Pope Francis prays in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on September 7, 2013. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP - Getty Images, file

The Vatican is looking for some forgiveness for Pope Francis from Mexico over a remark that warned of a "Mexicanization" of Argentina because of drug violence.

The Vatican said it had sent an official diplomatic note to Mexico's ambassador saying Francis" absolutely did not intend to offend the Mexican people" with the remark, or to detract from the government's anti-drug efforts.

The pontiff made the remark in an email to Gustavo Vera, an Argentine lawmaker and friend combating the drug trade, who posted it his foundation website. "Hopefully we are in time to avoid Mexicanization," the pope wrote in the email.

The remark caused the Mexican government to formally complain. "The pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America," said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

- The Associated Press

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