News from Lori's Parents

10 February 2001

This is day 1,900 of Lori's wrongful incarceration in Perú.

In this update:

Mark has quality visit with Lori

Last week Mark was able to enjoy a full-day visit with Lori in the yard, taking advantage for the first time of newly instituted prison reforms initiated by Justice Minister Diego Garcia-Sayan, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer. These prison reforms have been established in all maximum-security prisons throughout Perú except for the dungeon prisons of Callao, a Naval base near Lima, which holds the known leaders of the Shining Path and MRTA.

Lori was in extremely good spirits as she and Mark spent the day in a yard the size of a tennis court with the other political prisoners and their families.

Peruvian judges take vacation -- Lori sits and waits

As we reported in our last update, the investigative phase of Lori's trial ended on January 15 when the Prosecutor Maria Peralta sent forward to the higher court her summary and recommendation that Lori be tried for collaboration. We are now awaiting the decision of the officials in this higher court as to whether or not Lori will be charged and when and if the public phase of the trial would begin.

In what appears to be yet another planned delay, the team of three judges who would be expected to hear the case took vacation in the month of February before a decision was rendered. With Peruvian elections scheduled for April 8 there are many who believe that the interim government of President Valentin Paniagua does not want to involve itself in a controversial political issue and may be stalling to pass the buck to the future elected government that first takes office on July 28 but this is just speculation.

Peruvian Government brings back SIN - a threat to true democracy

In one of his last acts before fleeing like a coward to Japan, the disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori dismantled the SIN (Servicio Inteligencia Nacional), the notorious intelligence organization headed by Vladimiro Montesinos, now in hiding.

This week Prime Minister Javier Perez de Cuellar reconstituted the SIN, giving creditability to an organization that has put fear into the hearts and minds of the Peruvian people. This unfortunate move is a real threat to true democracy in Perú. On the other hand, it is a believed that the tentacles of Montesinos are still widespread and the organization has been functioning clandestinely anyway.

Upcoming California events

Rhoda will be heading to California. On February 27 (evening) there will be a House Party in Oakland (more information to follow) and on February 28 (7 p.m.) a book reading at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street, in San Francisco. On March 1 (7 p.m.) Rhoda will be at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, 9786 West Pico Blvd., in Los Angeles (RSVP 310-772-2400). On March 2 (evening), she will be at Temple Kol Tikvah, 2040 Ventura Blvd., in Los Angeles. On March 3 (4:30 p.m.) there will be a book reading at Midnight Special Bookstore, 1318 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson