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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Pope arrives in Guatemala
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 Most of Guatemala City came to a standstill yesterday afternoon, as thousands greeted Pope John Paul II as he arrived on the latest stage of his tour of the Americas Later today he will canonise the country's first saint, Brother Pedro de San Jose Betancur, a 17th century Spanish missionary, who set up his own order of priests and nuns to help the poor. On Saturday, in response to a written request from the Pope, Guatemala's president abolished the death penalty for the remaining months of his term. President Alfonso Portillo announced that he will soon send a legal proposal to Congress to end capital punishment permanently. There are currently 36 prisoners in the country scheduled for execution. During John Paul II's first visit to Guatemala in 1983, dictator Efraín Ríos Montt ignored a papal request to pardon six condemned prisoners.
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