Chile: Mass protester arrests overshadow Pope Francis' first ever visit

Riot police officers arrest a protester during a demonstration against the visit of Pope Francis to Chile. (AFP)

Dozens of protesters were arrested in Santiago on Tuesday, as demonstrations against the visit of Pope Francis to Chile turned violent.

Riot police charged protesters with truncheons and used water cannons in an effort to disperse the crowd. Footage shows police bundling a number of protesters into the back of vans.

Chile had been anticipating demonstrations from protesters furious about an alleged cover-up of child sex abuse by religious authorities.

Before the Pope's arrival, several churches were attacked and vandalised. More demonstrations are expected to take place during his three-day stay.

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