Getting in touch
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U.S. House of Representatives Actions
Lori's own Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has sponsored House letters to President Fujimori, President Clinton, and Secretary of State Albright, in addition to sending numerous individual letters to both Presidents and other officials concerned with Lori's case. She has monitored Lori's condition and been willing to intervene in any manner possible to help improve the conditions of Lori's incarceration and obtain justice for her. In addition, she went the "extra mile" for her constituent - in fact the extra 8,000 miles (round trip to Perú) to visit Lori in prison.
In addition, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has committed herself to fighting for Lori's release. In addition to numerous calls and letters on Lori's behalf, she proposed an amendment to a State Department authorization bill in July 1999 which called for Lori's release. 189 Members of the House voted for this amendment.
Other strong supporters in the House include Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Connie Morella (R-MD), and Jim Leach (R-IA). In all, a majority of the House has expressed official support for Lori's release, either by Congress withholding non-humanitarian aid to Perú or by President Clinton using diplomatic means .
- Majority of House Supports Lori
- House of Representative Letters
- Proposed Amendment to H.R. 2415 - July 1999
- Congressional Human Rights Caucus
- Congressional Colloquy
Majority of House Supports Lori
Between the June 1999 letter to President Clinton and the proposed amendment (see below for details on both), a majority of the House of Representatives has shown support for Lori's release. A total of 225 of the 435 voting House members (52%) have expressed their support, as have four of the five nonvoting House delegates.
House of Representative Letters
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has sponsored four "Dear Colleague" letters to various Peruvian and U.S. officials on behalf of Lori.
2000 Letter to President Clinton
The letter sent to President Clinton on July 26, 2000 urged him to do everything within his power to seek Lori's immediate release was signed my a majority (221) of members of the House of Representatives.
June 1999 Letter to President Clinton
In June 1999, a letter to President Clinton gained the signatures of 176 House members. The letter requested that he do all within his power to effectuate Lori's release.
December 1997 Letter to Secretary of State Albright
In December 1997, a total of 175 Congressional Representatives signed a "Dear Colleague" letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asking her to do "all within her power to impress upon the Peruvian government the importance of providing an open trial in a civilian court for Lori."
This letter was delivered to Secretary Albright concurrently with a Senate letter signed by 52 Senators.
August 1996 Letter to President Fujimori
This letter to Peruvian President Fujimori, signed by 87 members of the House of Representatives, condemned the manner in which Lori was tried and convicted. It asked that Lori's conviction be set aside, and that she either be provided a "fair and public trial before a civilian and impartial court" or be released.
May 1996 Letter to President Fujimori
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked colleagues to join her in requesting a meeting with President Fujimori on his visit to Washington DC in May 1996 in order to discuss Lori's case. As a result, although President Fujimori declined to meet, he delegated members of the Peruvian Congress who accompanied him to the United States to meet with these members of the United States Congress.
February 1996 Letter to President Fujimori
Members of the House of Representatives wrote to Peruvian President Fujimori within a month of Lori's sentencing, protesting her sentence and the fact that she, a civilian, had been tried in a military court. These 24 Representatives asked that Lori be given "a chance to tell her side of the story, to have her attorney cross examine witnesses and to present evidence that may substantiate her claims of innocence."
Proposed Amendment to H.R. 2415 - July 1999
In July 1999, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) offered an amendment calling for the U.S. to "use all available diplomatic efforts to secure the release of Lori Berenson" and stated that "in deciding whether to provide economic and other forms of assistance to Peru, the United States should take into consideration the willingness of Peru to assist in the release of Lori Berenson."
The Amendment, although defeated, received approval by 44.2% of the Representatives casting a decision on it. The government of Perú was put on notice that Lori's support in the U.S. Congress continues to grow. The transcript of the Congressional debate is also available.
Congressional Human Rights Caucus
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney chaired a Congressional Human Rights Caucus on June 30, 1999 to discuss Lori's case. The event was cosponsored by the Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA) and John Edward Porter (R-IL).
Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) and Bill Richardson (D-NM) held a Congressional Colloquy on June 20, 1996 to discuss human rights abuses in Perú, and Lori's case in particular.