U.S. Ambassador Mark Langdale participated in a ceremony Monday commemorating the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.WorldTradeCenter buildings and the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001.
A group of U.S. Marines, representatives of Costa Rica’s National Firefighters’ Corp and Police Reserves, and members of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) joined Langdale at the ceremony, held at September 11 Park at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center in Sabana Norte, in northwestern San José.
“On this significant fifth anniversary, when we remember and pay tribute to the victims of terrorism, I ask that we also keep in mind the ideals of democracy and human rights adopted by almost all the countries in the Americas, in Lima, Peru,” Langdale said, referring to a resolution defining governments’ obligation to “protect and defend democracy,” also adopted Sept. 11, 2001, during a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS).
He praised Costa Rica as a symbol of peace and prosperity, in contrast with other Latin American countries that “have turned toward authoritarianism or populist dictatorships.”
On the other side of town, President Oscar Arias commented on the anniversary after finishing a visit to the JoséFigueresFerrerElementary School in the eastern suburb of Sabanilla. He said it’s fine for the United States to dedicate money and efforts to combating terrorism, but that poverty and inequality deserve attention as well, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.
“It’s true that terrorism is a threat for humanity…but it’s not the only threat to world peace,” he said. “Illiteracy, poverty, inequality, the degradation of the environment and diseases, are threats that are just as serious.”