News from Lori's Parents

7 May 2001

In this update:

Public trial or show?

Today's hearing consisted of repeatedly showing videos of Lori's press presentation of January 8, 1996 at the DINCOTE anti-terrorism police headquarters. Once again it was clear that the prosecution has no evidence against Lori and has to rely on a show for the public.

Tapes from several Peruvian TV stations were spliced together into one video of more than 20 minutes duration. Instead of showing Lori's complete statement, they focused on newscaster commentary and slow motion shots of Lori's angry expressions. They included statements and captions calling Lori a terrorist, a militant of the MRTA, or guilty. Note that this event occurred three days before the verdict was rendered. Some newscasters even claimed Lori confessed, although she did nothing of the kind.

Another video from the DINCOTE included a 15-minute reading of charges and claims against Lori, followed by Lori's unedited press presentation in its entirety.

The tape shows Lori starting her statement as she is walking up the steps to the stage and she angrily shouts to be heard there was no microphone on the stage. The tape also confirms that Lori kept her hands at her sides throughout.

Lori's lawyer, Dr. Sandoval, pointed out that these videos were prejudicial in 1996, are prejudicial again now, and are not at all relevant to whether or not Lori is guilty of the charges. The only purpose of admitting these videos as evidence is to arouse public opinion against Lori by reminding viewers of how angry she was more than five years ago.

The silent violence of poverty and misery

After the videos were shown, the court questioned Lori for one hour and fifteen minutes. In their questioning the judges implied that her angry demeanor at the press presentation linked her with violence. She told the court she had not meant to appear so aggressive that certainly had not been her intent.

She calmly explained why she was so angry that day. The anger arose from her indignation about injustice after forty days of detention. She was angered by the denial of human rights and torture of fellow prisoners during those days as well as her knowledge of police and military violence in Peru. She said that physical violence is very deplorable, but there are other types of violence including the silent violence of poverty and misery.

The court then adjourned until Thursday, May 10. Chief Judge Ibazeta seems intent on dragging out these hearings. Meanwhile, we await the decision on the appeal of the motion by Lori's lawyer demanding Ibazeta's removal from the case.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson