Monday, July 22, 2013

Security on alert as Pope Francis heads to Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – When Pope Francis greets his flock on Rio’s white-sand Copacabana beach this week during his first international trip, he’ll do so in the same open-topped jeep “popemobile” he uses at the Vatican, breaking down the bulletproof barrier between the pontiff and the people.

But while he'll be traveling with only two Swiss Guards dressed in discreet civilian clothes, the "people's pope" may still have a hard time connecting with the 2 million people expected to greet him. More than 10,000 army, air force and navy officers, as well as 12,000 regular police and 1,700 elite security forces, will guard him during his 18 public appearances during his weeklong visit, starting Monday, to Brazil for World Youth Day. 
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