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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)

Costa Rica: The Lessons of Horror

Jorge Arroyo, La Nación (centrist), San José, September 14, 2001

Charity at home. What is relevant in our little backyards and to the interests of our land? The lesson-filled attack on the globe makes urgent in our consciousness the job of becoming a people that in our wholeness and togetherness reject these absurd acts. This hecatomb should promote in people’s minds the possibility of resolving problems, and not of destruction. And then symbolically—and, sadly—some vandals lit the town of Santa Rosa on fire, and the sense of desolation was increased by the murder, by mercenary hit men, of [Costa Rican radio journalist] Parmenio Medina [in July], leaving us wounded inside. Now, on the outside, we are part of the torn fabric of the global village, irrelevant in economic matters, but still present with our moral and ethical strength.

For us to have such a presence, we must renew our principles, though they be born of indignation and a sense of impotence. The cruel acts of this September confront us with the exacerbation of racism, with xenophobia, with intolerance, with a realization of the unfortunate power of inflexible parties, with retribution from both sides, and with a spiraling effect in the provocation and explosion of conflicts. It fell to the most powerful country to be prey to the most terrifying horror. We take away the lesson that it is time to reactivate our memories and reflections so that they can become relevant actions to push away these excesses. Charity begins at home and with what we already have.

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