News from Lori's Parents

11 January 2000

Tuesday January 11 marks 1,504 days of Lori's wrongful incarceration.

In this update:

A statement by Lori Berenson from Socabaya Prison for supporters attending vigils

Lori has written a statement to be read at the vigils. Following are some excerpts. The web site will contain the entire statement.

For January 11, 2000

Dear Friends:

Thank you all for coming today and for all the help you have given me these past four years. ... I am immensely grateful for your efforts to see me free.

The violation of human rights in Peru isn't only a problem of lack of democracy, freedom of speech and press, and the existence of judicial systems that are completely subordinate to political power. The foremost violation is the institutional violence that relegates the vast majority of people to living in misery. The right to food, health, education and employment are human rights that are consistently violated in Peru and we cannot be silent when we see and live these violations, when we know that there is spreading hunger and misery -- and far too many deaths that result from neglect. ...

Over these last four years I have become more convinced than ever that in the presence of social injustice and abuse, silence is almost as harmful as the injustice itself. To be silent is to be an accomplice. We will not be silent, we will not be quiet, until this changes, until there is justice and respect for human rights in Peru. And we will keep the faith that justice will prevail.

Lori Berenson
(written 26 December 1999)

Prayers and meditations mark anniversary vigils

In addition to the vigils announced last week and displayed on the web site, additional vigils will be held in Boston MA, Miami FL, and Fairbanks AK. Also, there will be meditations held in centers in the following cities: San Jose CA, Olympia WA, Boca Raton FL, Blowing Rock NC, Albuquerque NM, St. Louis MO, and Brooklyn, NY. Meditations will also be held in two other countries -- Canada (Ottawa) and Japan (Okayama).

"The Message"

As we commemorate the fourth anniversary of Lori's wrongful sentencing, may she maintain her hope ("esperanza"), her courage ("coraje"), her strength ("fuerza") and her health ("salud"). May there be justice, may she be freed.

New York vigil to feature speakers who have visited Lori

The NYC Vigil, to be held at the UN Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (47th St. and 1st Ave.) from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on January 11th, will feature speakers who have visited Lori during her incarceration in Lima, Yanamayo, and Socabaya.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney will join Rhoda and Mark Berenson, Attorney Thomas Nooter, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Sister Eileen Storey of Sisters of Charity, Reverend Lucius Walker of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, and Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now." Father Brisotti of Casa de la Paz will provide banjo and folk music.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson