News from Lori's Parents

13 January 2000

Day 1,506 of wrongful incarceration

In this update:

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism calls for Lori's release

On the fourth anniversary of Lori's wrongful sentencing, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the Washington DC Office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations which represents 895 congregations across North America with 1.5 million members and the 1,700 rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis) gave a statement calling for Lori's release. The full text appears on Lori's web site and on the Religous Action Center's web site

The statement ends with following remarks: "To Lori we say: Do not despair. Know that just as you were dedicated to working on behalf of others, we are working to secure justice for you."

Statement from Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton Archdiocese of Detroit in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of Lori's sentencing

Since I cannot be with you in person, I send my deepest support to Lori, to Rhoda and Mark, and to all those working for Lori's release from prison in Peru. I want to join in solidarity with all the supporters on this fourth anniversary of Lori's wrongful sentencing to life imprisonment. I hope and pray the nationwide vigils energize our efforts, support and sustain Lori and her parents, strengthen the campaign, and hasten Lori's freedom.

It was my privilege to visit with Lori recently. I admire the strength of her spirit and the generosity of her heart. She speaks of human dignity, peace, truth, and love.

May all the efforts and energy we can offer to the campaign bring about her release and freedom!

Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton
Archdiocese of Detroit
January 11th, 2000

Note: Bishop Gumbleton is the founder of "Bread for the World" and he is also the founder of Pax Christi USA, an international peace organization.

Highlights of nationwide vigils

Supporters gathered nationwide on January 11 to commemorate the 4th anniversary of Lori's illegal and unjust incarceration. Amnesty International declared Lori to be a Political Prisoner in Perú and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights determined that she is being "detained arbitrarily"

Vigils and meditation services were held in 21 cities across the US and meditation services were also held in Ottawa, Canada and in Okayama, Japan.

Gail Taylor, the National Organizer of the Committee to Free Lori Berenson, is compiling a report of the vigils that will appear on the web site. Among the highlights were speeches given by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney at the New York City Vigil and by Congresswoman Maxine Waters at the Los Angeles Vigil. At the Washington DC Vigil a petition was presented to the Peruvian government through its Embassy and at the San Francisco Vigil spokespersons entered the Consulate to speak with Peruvian officials. At the Miami Vigil flowers were delivered to the Consulate with a card saying

"to Lori"

Lori's "warmest" friends

Possibly the most notable group was in Fairbanks, Alaska where friends of Lori braved weather with temperatures of 35 degrees below zero and strong wind gusts as they held signs at Cushman bridge. Posters and information were handed out on a nearby campus, downtown, and a message was sent to all Alaska Legislators pushing the issue of Lori's release.

A note of thanks

As sad as the day was for us as parents, we are truly grateful to so many wonderful people throughout our country and throughout the world who have been there for us and for Lori. This outpouring of love is truly appreciated and has helped sustain us.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson