The Latest: Pope heads to Mexico's drug heartland

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The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to Mexico (all times local):

8:00 a.m.

Pope Francis is on his way to the heart of Mexico's drug-trafficking country for meetings with young people. He's holding them up as the hope for a better future for a country wracked by the violence and gang warfare of the drug trade.

Francis has just taken off from Mexico City in a jetliner for his visit to Morelia, the capital of Michoacan state.

The trip will give him a chance to send a message about his vision for the future of the Mexican church and some are expecting a tough message like the one he delivered Satureday to the country's bishops.

In Morelia, 20-year-old seminarian Uriel Perez says that message was meant for the rest of the church too. He says "the pope is demanding and wants us to be prepared and in the streets, shoulder to shoulder with our flock."