Pope Francis arrived in Colombia on Wednesday with a five-day agenda to promote peace and reconciliation in four cities.
The top cleric of the Roman Catholic Church said while on his way to South America he would seek to “help” Colombia to “move forward” as the country is trying to end more than 53 years of armed conflict involving a multitude of actors.
The pope will leave Colombia on Sunday.
After his arrival in Bogota, the pope drove through Bogota in his popemobile past a crowd of people to the Apostolic Nunciature.
On Thursday, the church leader will be received by President Juan Manuel Santos, who had asked him to visit the country in support of an ongoing peace process with former guerrilla group FARC, and ongoing efforts to demobilize paramilitary group AGC and guerrilla group ELN.
Pope Francis will also hold a mass in the capital of the country where more than 70% of the country is Catholic and millions are expected to try to catch a glimpse of their spiritual leader.
On Friday, the pope will travel to Villavicencio, hold another mass and meet with victims of the armed conflict, after which he will travel back to Bogota where he will be staying the nights throughout his visit.
On Saturday, the church leader will travel to Medellin and on Sunday to Cartagena.
On Sunday evening local time Pope Francis will finish his five-day trip and return to the Vatican.
While trying to reconcile the country politically divided by decades of armed conflict, the church has insisted the visit has mainly religious purposes.