News from Lori's Parents

7 December 2001

In this update:

Lori sends holiday season message

Lori sent the following letter, written in English, from the Santa Monica de Chorrillos Maximum Security Women's Prison in Lima, Perú:

Dear Friends,

As 2001 draws to an end I want to thank you once again for all your support for me and my family. 2001 saw many tragedies; we can only hope that 2002 will be a year in which human beings start acting as such and look to work to end the world of poverty and misery so there be no reasons for war.

2001 was also the year in which I had another trial in which Peruvian judicial officials ignored my protestation of innocence and sentenced me to prison ignoring international norms and due process.

I hope 2002 will be a year of positive changes in general.

Wishing you and your loved ones the best for this holiday season and wishing peace and justice for all.

Abrazos, [Hugs,]

Lori Berenson

We join Lori in thanking you for all the support you have given her and us. This has been a very difficult year. In addition to the horrors of the events of September 11, this was a year in which we spent more than three months in Perú watching as Lori was once again denied due process, found guilty of a crime she did not commit, and demonized by the Peruvian press. We watched knowing that Lori is innocent, has spent much too long in Peruvian prisons, and must come home.

Thanks to your letters, phone calls, and visits with your congressional representatives over the years, a majority of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate have argued for Lori's freedom. The letters and calls to the president have resulted in President Bush, Secretary of State Powell, and other members of the Bush Administration repeatedly telling Peruvian President Toledo that Lori's case is of highest concern. And soon, thanks again to your help, he will hear from religious leaders of all faiths urging he let Lori come home.

Much of our progress has been a result not only of your letters, petitions and calls, but also because of our full-time presence in Washington D.C. and the work of Gail Taylor as National Coordinator. Gail has done wonders in increasing our grassroots support and in keeping Lori's plight on the minds of government officials and human rights organizations in D.C.

Fund raising campaign

Past contributions to the Committee to Free Lori Berenson have helped us to maintain the office in Washington, travel to Perú to visit Lori, and continue the fight for her freedom. We have accomplished a great deal on a shoestring budget, but each year we have run at a deficit and this year saw additional legal and other expenses associated with the civilian trial. We look forward to the day when we can close the office but meanwhile it is crucial that it remain open and we continue the struggle to bring Lori home. We know that these are very difficult times but we hope you can help us in this struggle. Any amount you can contribute will be especially appreciated and, of course, we always value your active and moral support.

Non-tax deductible contributions of any amount can be made to "Free Lori Berenson." Tax-deductible contributions of $50 or more can be made to "Proteus Fund: Attn.: Inter-American Human Rights Project." Checks should be sent to The Committee to Free Lori Berenson, 110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 112, Washington, DC 20002.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson