The Mexican visit of the Pope Benedict XVI on Friday was marked with both the cheers of the faithful and the protests of the activists.

It was the Pope's first visit to Mexico, a Latin American country with largest number of Spanish-speaking Roman Catholics.

The Pontiff was greeted by Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the beginning of his tour.

Meanwhile, several protesters including gay and lesbian groups took to the streets, shouting slogans against papal visit.

They were protesting against the human rights record of the Catholic Church and the tolerance of the Church towards the priests accused in rape and child abuse incidents.

Activists also criticised the government for spending huge amounts of money for preparations of the Pope's visit.

Pope Benedict XVI is on a three day visit to Mexico before embarking on a tour to Cuba on Monday.

Take a look at the demonstrations against the papal visit in Mexico:

Activists and protesters shout during a demonstration in Mexico city.Reuters
Activist and protester hold up a banner during a demonstration at the monument of the Angel of Independence in Mexico City.Reuters
A police officer stands guard as activists hold up a placard with an image of the Pope during a demonstration at the monument of the Angel of Independence in Mexico City.Reuters
An activist hangs over her ears words which read " Pope, not" during a demonstration in Mexico city.Reuters