News from Lori's Parents

29 December 2003

In this update:

Lori sends end-of-year holiday message

We received Lori's end-of-year holiday message and have had it scanned onto the homepage of the Website. We continue to be encouraged by Lori's extremely positive and optimistic attitude following 8 years and 1 month of wrongful imprisonment.

Her letter begins, Dear Friends, My best wishes to you in this holiday season and for the coming year. As I reflect upon the year that has past, I am more and more convinced of the need to work to making this world a better place. It appears to be easier for human beings to destroy their (our) future than to construct a better, more just world. I truly believe that the future will be better .

Message from Rhoda and Mark

As the year 2003 ends, we join Lori in thanking you once again for all the support you have given her and us.

This has been a year of ups and downs for our family. On the up side, in October Lori was married to Aníbal Apari Sanchez. We are very happy for them both and we hope that they will very soon be able to start a long life together in freedom. In the mean time, Aníbal visits Lori monthly, bringing a little happiness to her prison life.

Also on the up side, our son-in-law Devin McKinney (Kathys husband) celebrated the publication of his book Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History (Harvard University Press) that the Village Voice chose among Our Favorite 25 Books For 2003.

On the down side, Lori's case has not yet had a hearing at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. We visited officials at the Court in Costa Rica early in the year and expressed the urgency for hearing Lori's case as soon as possible. We presented the argument that delay in Lori's case would result in hundreds of Peruvians once again being denied their rights in trials that fail to comply with international standards. Unfortunately, the Court maintained that they do not hear cases out of order. We expect Lori's case will be heard early in 2004 with a decision later in the year.

Although we are confident that the Inter-American Court will side with Lori, we cannot depend on Perú to abide by the Courts decision -- even though as a member of the Inter-American Court system it has agreed to do so. Currently, there is much internal strife in Perú and the government of President Toledo is very unpopular. Thus it is extremely important that we keep President Bush, Secretary of State Powell, and members of the U.S. Congress aware of Lori's plight. With all that is happening in the world, it is very easy for Lori's situation and the injustices in Perú to be pushed to the background and we must struggle to keep up the pressure for her release. To that end, in January we plan to reactivate our telephone and letter-writing campaigns to the White House, State Department, and to the U.S. Congress.

We thank each of you for your continued support of our efforts. We wish you and your loved ones the best for new year and wish peace and justice for all.

Rhoda and Mark B.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson