As Mexico sees rising violence, Pope Francis was asked to weigh in on what’s taking place around the Latin American country. He believes that it’s a result of the country being punished by the devil. Pope Francis referenced the devil’s “bronca” with Mexico, using a slang term that roughly translates to beef.

“Christian persecutions weren’t as virulent in other countries in America,” he told Noticieros Televisa, according to El País. “Why in Mexico? Something happened there… Otherwise, you can’t explain it.”

He also suggested that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his government make room for dialogue and pacts. When Televisa reporter Valentina Alazraki asked him if the government should make pacts with narcos, but Pope Francis said he didn’t support going in that direction.

“That doesn’t sound right to me,” he said. “It’s as if I, to help the evangelization of a country, made a pact with the devil. There are pacts that cannot be made. Political pacts should be made for the good of the country.”