BOGOTA, Colombia -- Pope Paul VI arrived today to plead for social reform in the first papa visit to the world's most Catholic continent.
The Pope's plane landed at 10:19 a.m. (11:19 a.m. EDT) at El Dorado International Airport after an 11-hour, 45-minute nonstop flight from Rome.
President Carlos Lleras Restrepo and more man 50,000 others, chanting "Papa! Papa!" the Spanish word for "Pope," greeted me 70-year-old pontiff when he stepped from the white jetliner of Colombia's Avianca Airlines.
Police estimated additional crowds in excess of 500,000 -- one quarter of this city 's population lined the seven-mile highway to the city, its principal plaza, and the other routes the Pope, will follow today in his open limousine.
A 15,000-man security force of police and regular army troops formed a cordon in front of the multitudes to protect the pontiff from the emotionally explosive populace, many of whom took up their positions CH.
The Pope's sixth and longest pilgrimage abroad brought the pontiff on an historical mission to a part of the world where poverty is widespread, the birth rate, the world's highest' and opposition is mounting to his ban on articial birth control