House of Representatives Letter to Secretary Albright

December 1997

175 Signatures Most in Recent Memory, Human Rights Groups Say

In early December, 1997, a letter containing the signatures of 175 Representatives was delivered to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright requesting that she do all within her power to impress upon the Peruvian government the importance of providing an open trial in a a civilian court for Lori. Another letter was signed by 52 Senators, and delivered to Secretary Albright.

This outpouring of Congressional support may be the largest single block of signatures for any incarcerated American since Terry Anderson almost two decades ago! Many thanks to Congresswoman Maloney and her staff for their help.

The sponsors of the letter are Representatives C. Maloney, Leach, Dellums, and Morella. In addition, Representative Capps, a strong supporter of due process for Lori, had agreed to sign the letter shortly before his death. It should also be noted that Representatives Royce and J. Johnson intended to send their own letters to Secretary of State Albright, Representative Gilman sent a letter directly to Lori through the U.S. Embassy, and Speaker Gingrich sent a personal letter to the Berenson family.

December 1997

The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary,

On January 11, 1996, Lori Berenson, an American citizen, was sentenced to life in prison by a secret Peruvian military tribunal in violation of international law. Specifically, she was denied a fair public trial by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, as required by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Peru on April 28, 1978. The Peruvian anti-terrorism laws afford no due process and have been strongly criticized by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights organizations.

Last summer, 20 Senators and 87 Representatives wrote to Peruvian President Fujimori, asking him to take steps to ensure that Ms. Berenson be retired before a civilian court which upholds internationally recognized rights of due process, but have never received a reply. Ms. Berenson is living in excessively harsh conditions in a Peruvian maximum security prison which endangers her health and allows her extremely limited access to her family and legal counsel.

The lack of due process at Ms. Berenson's trial leaves the question of her involvement in illegal activity unanswered and she must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. While we make no claims concerning Ms. Berenson's alleged guilt, we ask that you do all within your power to impress upon the Peruvian government the importance of providing her an open and fair proceeding in a civilian court without further delay.

Thank you for your consideration.



  1. Hilliard, Earl (D-AL)
  2. Faleomavaega, Eni (D-AS)
  3. California

  4. Becerra, Xavier (D-CA)
  5. Dellums, Ron (D-CA)
  6. Berman, Howard (D-CA)
  7. Brown, George (D-CA)
  8. Calvert, Ken (R-CA)
  9. Cunningham, Randy (R-CA)
  10. Dixon, Julian (D-CA)
  11. Dooley, Calvin (D-CA)
  12. Eshoo, Anna (D-CA)
  13. Farr, Sam (D-CA)
  14. Fazio, Vic (D-CA)
  15. Martinez, Matthew (D-CA)
  16. Harman, Jane (D-CA)
  17. Horn, Stephen (R-CA)
  18. Lantos, Tom (D-CA)
  19. Lewis, Jerry (R-CA)
  20. Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA)
  21. Matsui, Robert (D-CA)
  22. Miller, George (D-CA)
  23. Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA)
  24. Roybal-Allard, Lucille (D-CA)
  25. Royce, Edward (R-CA) Sent his own letter to Sec. Albright.
  26. Sanchez, Loretta (D-CA)
  27. Sherman, Brad (D-CA)
  28. Stark, Pete (D-CA)
  29. Torres, Esteban (D-CA)
  30. Woolsey, Lynn (D-CA)
  31. Waxman, Henry (D-CA)
  32. Waters, Maxine (D-CA)
  33. Colorado

  34. DeGette, Diana (D-CO)
  35. McInnis, Scott (R-CO)
  36. Skaggs, David (D-CO)
  37. Connecticut

  38. DeLauro, Rosa (D-CT)
  39. Gejdenson, Sam (D-CT)
  40. Johnson, Nancy (R-CT)
  41. Kennelly, Barbara (D-CT)
  42. Maloney, James (D-CT)
  43. Shays, Christopher (R-CT)
  44. Florida

  45. Bilirakis, Michael (R-FL)
  46. Brown, Corrinne (D-FL)
  47. Deutsch, Peter (D-FL)
  48. Hastings, Alcee (D-FL)
  49. Meek, Carrie (D-FL)
  50. Georgia

  51. Gingrich, Newt (R-GA) Sent a personal letter to the Berensons.
  52. Lewis, John (D-GA)
  53. McKinney, Cynthia (D-GA)
  54. Guam

  55. Underwood, Robert (D-GU)
  56. Hawaii

  57. Abercrombie, Neil (D-HI)
  58. Mink, Patsy (D-HI)
  59. Illinois

  60. Blagojevich, Rod (D-IL)
  61. Costello, Jerry (D-IL)
  62. Davis, Danny(D-IL)
  63. Evans, Lane (D-IL)
  64. Fawell, Harris (R-IL)
  65. Gutierrez, Luis (D-IL)
  66. Jackson, Jesse (D-IL)
  67. Lipinski, William (D-IL)
  68. Porter, John (R-IL)
  69. Poshard, Glenn (D-IL)
  70. Rush, Bobby (D-IL)
  71. Yates, Sidney (D-IL)
  72. Indiana

  73. Hamilton, Lee (D-IN)
  74. Iowa

  75. Leach, Jim (R-IA)
  76. Kentucky

  77. Whitfield, Ed (R-KY)
  78. Louisiana

  79. Jefferson, William (D-LA)
  80. Maine

  81. Allen, Tom (D-ME)
  82. Maryland

  83. Morella, Constance (R-MD)
  84. Wynn, Albert (D-MD)
  85. Massachusetts

  86. McGovern, Jim (D-MA)
  87. Meehan, Martin (D-MA)
  88. Moakley, Joe (D-MA)
  89. Neal, Richard (D-MA)
  90. Olver, John (D-MA)
  91. Delahunt, William (D-MA)
  92. Frank, Barney (D-MA)
  93. Kennedy, Joe (D-MA)
  94. Markey, Edward (D-MA)
  95. Tierney, John (D-MA)
  96. Michigan

  97. Bonior, David (D-MI)
  98. Conyers, John (D-MI)
  99. Hoekstra, Peter (R-MI)
  100. Kildee, Dale (D-MI)
  101. Kilpatrick, Carolyn (D-MI)
  102. Levin, Sander (D-MI)
  103. Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)
  104. Stupak, Bart (D-MI)
  105. Minnesota

  106. Minge, David (D-MN)
  107. Oberstar, James (D-MN)
  108. Sabo, Martin (D-MN)
  109. Vento, Bruce (D-MN)
  110. Mississippi

  111. Thompson, Bennie (D-MS)
  112. Missouri

  113. Cummings, Elijah (D-MD)
  114. Danner, Pat (D-MO)
  115. Clay, William (D-MO)
  116. Gephardt, Richard (D-MO)
  117. McCarthy, Karen (D-MO)
  118. Skelton, Ike (D-MO)
  119. Talent, Jim (R-MO)
  120. New Jersey

  121. Andrews, Robert (D-NJ)
  122. Franks, Bob (R-NJ)
  123. LoBiondo, Frank (R-NJ)
  124. Pallone, Frank (D-NJ)
  125. Pappas, Michael (R-NJ)
  126. Pascrell, Bill (D-NJ)
  127. Payne, Donald (D-NJ)
  128. Smith, Christopher (R-NJ)
  129. New York

  130. Maloney, Carolyn(D-NY)
  131. Engel, Eliot (D-NY)
  132. Flake, (D-NY)
  133. Forbes, Michael (R-NY)
  134. Gilman, Benjamin (R-NY) Sent his own letter to Lori.
  135. Hinchey, Maurice (D-NY)
  136. Kelly, Sue (R-NY)
  137. McCarthy, Carolyn (D-NY)
  138. Slaughter, Louise (D-NY)
  139. Towns, Edolphus (D-NY)
  140. King, Peter (R-NY)
  141. LaFalce, John (D-NY)
  142. Lowey, Nita (D-NY)
  143. Manton, Thomas (D-NY)
  144. McNulty, Mike (D-NY)
  145. Nadler, Jerrold (D-NY)
  146. Owens, Major (D-NY)
  147. Rangel, Charles (D-NY)
  148. Schumer, Charles (D-NY)
  149. Serrano, Jose (D-NY)
  150. Velazquez, Nydia (D-NY)
  151. North Carolina

  152. Clayton, Eva (D-NC)
  153. Price, David (D-NC)
  154. Watt, Mel (D-NC)
  155. North Dakota

  156. Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND)
  157. Ohio

  158. Hall, Tony (D-OH)
  159. Brown, Sherrod (D-OH)
  160. Kaptur, Marcy (D-OH)
  161. Pryce, Deborah (R-OH)
  162. Strickland, Ted (D-OH)
  163. Traficant, James (D-OH)
  164. Sawyer, Thomas (D-OH)
  165. Oregon

  166. Blumenhauer, Earl (D-OR)
  167. DeFazio, Peter (D-OR)
  168. Furse, Elizabeth (D-OR)
  169. Hooley, Darlene (D-OR)
  170. Pennsylvania

  171. Borski, Robert (D-PA)
  172. Coyne, William (D-PA)
  173. Doyle, Mike (D-PA)
  174. English, Phil (R-PA)
  175. Fattah, Chaka (D-PA)
  176. Fox, Jon (R-PA)
  177. Holden, Tim (D-PA)
  178. McDade, Joseph (R-PA)
  179. Puerto Rico

  180. Romero-Barcelo, Carlos (D-PR)
  181. Rhode Island

  182. Kennedy, Patrick (D-RI)
  183. South Carolina

  184. Clyburn, James (D-SC)
  185. Spratt, John (D-SC)
  186. Tennessee

  187. Clement, Bob (D-TN)
  188. Texas

  189. Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX)
  190. Frost, Martin (D-TX)
  191. Gonzalez, Henry (D-TX)
  192. Hall, Ralph (D-TX)
  193. Jackson-Lee, Sheila (D-TX)
  194. Johnson, Eddie B. (D-TX)
  195. Lampson, Nick (D-TX)
  196. Rodriguez, Ciro (D-TX)
  197. Turner, Jim (D-TX)
  198. Washington

  199. McDermott, James (D-WA)
  200. Smith, Adam (D-WA)
  201. Smith, Linda (R-WA)
  202. Washington, DC

  203. Holmes-Norton, Eleanor(D-DC)
  204. West Virginia

  205. Rahall, Nick (D-WV)
  206. Wisconsin

  207. Johnson, Jay (D-WI) Sent his own letter to Sec. Albright.
  208. Kind, Ron (D-WI)
  209. Obey, David (D-WI)
  210. Vermont

  211. Sanders, Bernie (I-VT)
  212. Virginia

  213. Boucher, Rick (D-VA)
  214. Davis, Tom (R-VA)
  215. Moran, Jim (D-VA)
  216. Scott, Robert (D-VA)