POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 8:07pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 10:20am
EL PASO - As the violence rages on in Mexico, Pope Benedict plans to visit the country for the first time ever, and that's giving many El Pasoans with ties to Mexico, hope; hope that the pontiff's visit will signal the beginning of the end to the drug-cartel related violence in the region.
Nicol Garza, 16, and her brother, Luis, 13, were forced to flee Mexico a year and a half ago.
"We moved here because of the violence,” said Nicol Garza.
However, they still haven't forgotten their roots, or their faith. The siblings are leaving for Leon, Mexico, where Pope Benedict will arrive on Friday.
"We're going to see the pope, so we're praying that everything goes right,” added Nicol Garza.
"I think a lot of people will change their lives...[they'll] believe more in God because of the message of the pope,” said Luis Garza.
They hope that message will have a lasting impact. Thousands have lost their lives in recent years, as rival drug cartels battle over turf in Mexico.
The Garzas are hopeful that the pope's visit will help usher in the end to violence in the region.
"I think there will be less violence because the people will get the message,” said Luis Garza.
"We're going to here the pope's message, like what God wants us to hear through the pope,” said Nicol Garza.
While we can't predict how the pope's visit will affect the violence, the purported leader of a drug cartel has said that there will be no violence while the pontiff is in Mexico.
Pope Benedict will arrive in Mexico on Friday. He'll be there through the weekend. After that, the pope heads to Cuba on Monday.