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Pope Francis visits Latin America

Pigeons fly over San Francisco square prior to the arrival of Pope Francis, in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Ana Buitron)

Pope Francis visits Latin America

Pope Francis ventured Friday into a violent, overcrowded and gang-ridden Bolivian prison that houses children living with their parents, hugging and kissing inmates and urging them not to despair.

If other events on the pope's three-nation tour of South America were joyous ones -- million-strong crowds of worshippers singing and praising the pontiff -- the trip to Bolivia's most dangerous prison was arguably a humbling descent into hell.

One disconsolate female inmate broke down in tears and threw herself into the pontiff's arms, saying she felt utterly abandoned. (AP)

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