Humberto Moreira is due to appear in a Madrid court on Friday following his arrest in an investigation into money laundering that reportedly also includes evidence that he was working for the Zetas cartel.
Government and church sources have indicated the pope will visit past and current drug war hotspots Ciudad Juarez and Michoacán state, as well as the poverty-stricken state of Chiapas where Central American migrants are facing a government crackdown.
Margarita Zavala's unexpected announcement came one week after a midterm election in which the National Action Party suffered its worst showing at Mexico's polls since 1991.
Acting in ways that are anything but green, Mexico's "ecological" political group blankets cities with its aggressive ads. The Green Party's success is linked to the goals of the ruling PRI and President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The nation saw another side to Manual Velasco when a viral video surfaced of him slapping a young government employee at a public event.