Chilean President Michelle Bachelet greeted Pope Francis this evening as he stepped onto the tarmac of the Santiago airport, arriving from Rome.
He has been welcomed in Santiago by crowds that are described as "very thin" by media outlets.
He will remain in Chile until Thursday when he heads to Peru. This is Pope Francis's first visit to Chile since stepping into his role in 2013.
While in Chile the pontiff will meet with Mapuche leaders in Araucania who are demanding a return of their rightful land taken over by the government at the end of the 19th century.
However Mapuche reception of the Argentine pope may be hostile as, in November, activists burned a bus and distributed pamphlets with the slogan "Fire to the churches. Pope Francis: you're not welcome to Araucania."
The pontiff will also speak with survivors of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Tomorrow he’ll hold a large mass in Santiago expected to attract about 500,000 worshipers.
There are, however, no formal plans to meet victims of pedophile priests, according to AFP. Feminist and LGBT rights groups are expected to protest this decision.
Since 2000, nearly 80 members of the Chilean clergy have been accused of sexual abuse of minors, with more than half of the accused convicted by a Vatican court.
Late last week protesters launched fire bombs on at least four churches in Chile's capital, Santiago. According to local media reports, no one was hurt in the attack, which left doors burned and windows charred and busted.
One of the churches attacked is located near the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican embassy, where Pope Francis will be hosted while in Chile.
"Pope Francis, the next bombs will be on your cassock,” read one of the messages at a nearby church, local newspapers reported.In Peru, which has also suffered a large share of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, the leader will visit Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.