Hundreds of Mexican pilgrims planning to attend World Youth Day in Panama have been unable to travel because the tour packages they purchased for the event appear not to exist.
Around 400 pilgrims from at least 11 dioceses purchased tour packages from JCP Multimedios. The packages included airline tickets, accommodation, registration for the event and a pilgrimage kit, according to a 15th January statement signed by Auxiliary Bishop Juan Armando Perez Talamantes of Monterrey, head of the Mexican bishops’ youth ministry.
Some of the pilgrims learned of the apparent fraud after arriving at the Mexico City international airport to take flights to Panama City – and some have remained stranded there, the statement said.
Attempts to reach JCP Multimedios were unsuccessful. Bishop Perez said in his statement that no-one answered the phone at the business.
World Youth Day starts tomorrow, 22nd January. As of 18th January, 150,000 young people had registered for the event, but more were expected to register in the final days before the event, said Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office.
Picture: A logo depicting symbols for Mary, Panama and the Panama Canal was selected as the winning design to promote World Youth Day 2019. The design by Amber Calvo, 20, a Panamanian student studying architecture, was chosen from 103 entries submitted for the event that will take place from 22nd to 27th January 2019. (CNS photo/courtesy World Youth Day USA).