SANTIAGO – Pope Francis had a private meeting Tuesday with President Michele Bachelet in the La Moneda palace’s Blue Hall and was introduced to her 91-year-old mother, Angela Jeria, who was tortured by the military regime that ruled Chile from 1973-1990.
Bachelet, whose term ends in March and will be succeeded by Sebastian Piñera, spoke with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church for about 25 minutes before exchanging gifts.
Francis gave Bachelet a medallion minted to commemorate his visit and depicting Teresa de los Andes and Alberto Hurtado, two Chilean saints.
At the end of the meeting, the pope was introduced to Jeria.
In an address to government officials earlier, Francis congratulated Piñera, saying “he has recently received a mandate from the Chilean people to lead the country over the next four years.”