Berenson Moved to High Andes Prison

The Associated Press -- 21 December 2001

LIMA, Peru - American Lori Berenson, who is serving a 20-year sentence for collaborating with leftists guerillas in a failed plot to seize Peru's Congress, was transferred Friday from a Lima prison to one high in the Andes, a government spokesman said.

Berenson, 32, was transferred from Lima to Cajamarca, some 350 miles north, said Victor Candia, a spokesman for Peru's National Prison Institute.

The radio station Radio Progamas said Berenson was moved, along with another female prisoner, for disciplinary reasons. Candia said he could not confirm why she was moved.

The New York native was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June in a civilian retrial after Peru's government dismissed a 1996 life sentence handed down by a military anti-terrorism tribunal.

The June ruling said Berenson, counting the five years she spent in prisons in the Andes prior to her retrial, would be released on Nov. 29, 2015, and expelled from Peru.

Rhoda Berenson, Lori's mother, told The Associated Press from her home in New York City that she visited Lori in Lima over the weekend and that her transfer came as a surprise, especially since her daughter has a final appeal pending before Peru's Supreme Court.

``Everything that has ever happened to Lori has been purely for political reasons, so we assume this is for somebody's political reasons,'' she said.

Berenson has maintained that she was not a member of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement guerrilla group and did not know they were using a house she rented in Lima to prepare for failed attempt to take over Congress.