Mexico to send diplomatic note to Vatican over purported papal letter on 'Mexicanization'

Mexico says it will send a note to the Vatican to protest purported comments by Pope Francis worrying about a possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina amid rising drug trafficking there.

Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade says Mexico is expressing its "sadness and concern" over the matter. He added Monday that he has met with the Vatican's emissary to Mexico City, Christophe Pierre, to inform him about the diplomatic note.

Mexico is reacting to a supposed letter to an Argentine lawmaker in which Francis expressed hope that it wasn't too late to prevent the country from becoming like Mexico on drug issues.

The missive has not been authenticated. In the past, the Vatican has declined to confirm or deny what it considers personal or pastoral communications by the pope.