News from Lori's Parents

20 November 2000

This is day 1,818 of Lori's wrongful incarceration in Perú.

In this update:

Fujimori resigns as President -- "A new day of justice in Perú"

On January 8, 1996, Lori Berenson concluded her "press presentation" with these words:

"I love this people; I love this people, and although this love is going to make -- cost -- me years in prison, I will never stop loving and will never lose the hope and confidence that there will be a new day of justice in Perú."

The announcement yesterday from Tokyo that Alberto Fujimori wanted to resign as President of Perú comes as no real surprise. It was reported that last week he left for the Brunei APEC conference with 30 suitcases of personal belongings. The Peruvian Congress is so angered by his cowardly act that today it will debate whether it will accept his letter of resignation or decide to vote him out of office on grounds of "moral unfitness."

True democracy finally has an opportunity to take root with both Fujimori and his major advisor Vladimiro Montesinos out of power. Perú is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage. Like Lori, we have always hoped for the best for the Peruvian people. Perhaps, finally, Perú can move to democracy and social justice to improve the quality of life for all of its people.

Let us hope that today's events truly mark the beginning of "a new day of justice in Perú," for Lori and for the hundreds, if not thousands, of other innocents wrongfully persecuted by the dictatorial regime.

Quotes from the press

Below are some quotes from newspaper articles today:

``The president is fleeing like a common criminal.''
- Mario Vargas Llosa, prominent novelist who ran unsuccessfully against Fujimori for the presidency in 1990.

``Fujimori cannot resign from Japan. He needs to return to Lima and have the courage to present his resignation before congress.''
- Opposition presidential candidate Alejandro Toledo

``If Fujimori presents his resignation letter, quite simply it will be rejected and we will seek to declare his post vacant. ... His moral behavior as president leaves a lot to be desired, the fact he has fled is totally shameful. ... Regardless of whether he sends his letter or not, the decision to proceed [to oust him from office] ... has been taken.''
- Opposition Congressman Cesar Zumaeta

``It looks increasingly unlikely that Fujimori will return to Perú. ... Why is Fujimori resigning now? I believe the foremost reason is that he is involved up to his neck in the corruption.''
- Political analyst Fernando Rospigliosi of Caretas Magazine

``I have been praying to God for Fujimori to go. He has gone but he left behind a country in ruins with people who are hungry, impoverished and without jobs.''
- Patricia Cerna Egoavil, activist in women's political groups.

``It is bad for the country in the short term because it is not clear that it is governable.''
- Paul Masco, head of emerging market trading at Salomon Smith Barney in New York.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson