Pope to Meet With Pinochet on Chile Visit

Associated Press

Pope John Paul II will meet with Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet and celebrate Palm Sunday in Argentina during his spring visit to South America, the Vatican said this week.

Gen. Pinochet, who has ruled Chile under a state of emergency since a 1973 coup, recently said he would allow “most” political exiles to return. The move was seen as linked to the Pope’s April 1-6 visit to Chile.

According to the itinerary released this week, the pontiff’s eighth journey to Latin America since becoming Pope in 1978 will begin on March 31 with a flight from Rome. The flight will arrive the next day in Montevideo, Uruguay, his only stop during a one-day visit to that country.


The South American trip is the Pope’s 33rd foreign trip.

He will spend five days in cities up and down Chile. He will fly south from Santiago, the capital, to Punta Arenas, near the Strait of Magellan. From there he flies north to Puerto Montt, then farther north to Concepcion.