Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Guatemala

A Call for Wise Judgement

After careful consideration of today’s events, I would like to share the following thoughts:

1. I firmly condemn the horrible terrorist attacks that have taken thousands of innocent civilian lives and have provoked an unpredictable spiral of violent consequences. Terrorism, wherever it may come from, is a politically unjustified and morally unacceptable behavior.

2. I express my profound condolences and solidarity with the victims, their families and the American people.

3. I call upon serenity and wise judgment to avoid a rushed and insensate response that could only result in an offensive revenge that only would feed an escalation of violence, that although knowing how and where it begins, nobody could predict when it is going to end.

4. I call upon the use of all available resources leading to a dialogue in order to build a world based on a common understanding, a fair acknowledgement of the problems that the international community faces, the existence of international law and an institutional framework, and the way the existing -selective and unilateral- hegemonic system affects a peaceful cohabitation.

5. I exhort the international community not to fall in a logic of war, seeking retribution for old and new controversies among nations and justifying actions against groups and sectors that have not found a pluralist disposition for the recognition and respect of their individual expressions in the existing institutional frameworks.

6. I call upon the media to avoid alarmist sensationalism based on interpretations of strong ideological bias that only increases the confusion and feeds the ghosts of intolerance.

7. Finally, I call upon the world’s civil society, Nobel Prize Laureates, and all world leaders, not to rush to conclusions on today’s events conforming instead a wide FRONT FOR WISE JUDGMENT in order to stop the cowardly use of violence and avoid further suffering to humanity.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Goodwill Ambassador of the Culture for Peace
Mexico City, September 11, 2001