News from Lori's Parents

4 February 2002

In this update:

February Action -- White House "Call In"

As we wait for the Supreme Court of Perú to rule on Lori's appeal, we must not wait in silence assuming that the Peruvian government will give Lori real justice. In fact, the government of the United States still has a moral and legal obligation to come to Lori's aid, and should be urged to do so. You can help Lori now by participating in the month-long call-in campaign to the White House.

Please call the White House hotline, 202-456-1111 (press '0' for operator), every Tuesday in February, starting February 5. We have some tips below from the Regional Coordinator in Rochester, NY, who did this every week this past fall. Please note that you will have to hold for an operator for a few moments.

"The operators are all volunteers, and they are all Republicans. They are unfailingly polite, and I made it a point to be equally polite with them.

I would start the conversation by saying, 'Hello, I am calling about Lori Berenson. Do you know about her case?' If they say no, I give them the 30-second summary: 'She is a young American woman who has spent six years in jail in Perú.' Usually, they know the situation, even if they don't remember Lori's name, so they will say, 'Yes, I know the case. What message do you want me to give to the President about her?'

I say, 'I know Mr. Bush wants to bring Lori back home. I hope he will use every means available to accomplish this.'

Usually they accept this, and say, 'Thank you. I'll see that Mr. Bush gets your message. From what state are you calling?' I thank them, say New York, and end the call.

If the operator tries to say that President Bush is doing his best about Lori Berenson, it is very hard to be polite and affable at a time like that. However, for the good of the cause, I say, 'Well, I'm encouraged by that, but she has already been in prison for more than six years!' "

Thanks for your continued help. - Rhoda and Mark Berenson