News from Lori's Parents

15 September 2003

In this update:

Call to Action - Vigil for Lori to be held at Peruvian Consulate in New York September 22

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo will be coming to New York City to speak at the General Assembly of the United Nations next week. Please join us in a Vigil protesting Lori's continued wrongful incarceration on Monday, September 22nd, at 5 pm at the Peruvian Consulate between 2nd and 3rd Avenues on 49th Street. President Toledo must be reminded that Perú has failed to adequately change the illegal anti-terrorism laws as called for by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. President Toledo must also be reminded that it is both cruel and inhumane to keep Lori further imprisoned while awaiting the decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that will surely rule in Lori's favor.

Lori's latest essay appears on website

Lori's essay, "Assorted Thoughts on Truth, Lies, and Paradoxes," appears on the Website. Lori wrote this essay in both English and Spanish for her two respective Websites.

Rumors abound over Lori being taken back to Lima

For several weeks now Lori has heard rumors of her impending return to Lima to give testimony in the trial of a co-defendant, the Panamanian Pacifico Castrillon. The first (instructive) phase of Mr. Castrillon's trial began in May 2001, during the oral phase of Lori's trial, and she gave testimony at that time. Incredibly, his trial only reached the oral phase several months ago and has dragged on interminably.

It is not known at this time whether such a return to Lima would be temporary or whether the intent would be for Lori to remain in Lima. The climate in Cajamarca has been much better for her health than elsewhere in Perú.

Peruvian society remains stunned over the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

As mentioned in an earlier update, Lori recognized a sinister movement aimed at crushing the two years of work by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission so necessary to move Peruvian society forward to benefit all its peoples. She questioned why certain elements of Peruvian society seemed so afraid of "truth" being revealed. Those who have balked the most or who have failed to participate fully with the Commission are the supporters of Alberto Fujimori and Vlademir Montesinos, the supporters of former President Alan Garcia, some elements of the military and the police, and the leadership of the Shining Path insurgency, particularly Abimael Guzman and Osman Morote. Since the publication of the report on August 28, several "political windbags" have joined in the unfortunate refutation of the report, absurdly questioning the statistical analysis and findings, and trying to ingratiate themselves with the military and police by discounting the enormous number of human rights violations that were committed by some of their members as simple "excesses." Lori hypothesizes that over 75 percent of all prisoners detained during the twenty years of armed conflict were tortured and that this figure cannot be merely described as an "excess" but must be considered government policy.

Most disappointing was the defensive commentary from the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, who utterly failed to recognize and come to terms with the Commission's conclusion that he did not do nearly enough to stem the enormous violence against the indigenous people of Ayacucho when he served that community as Bishop during the mid 80s to mid 90s.

It is clear that Peruvian society needs more time to fully comprehend the Commission's findings. Hopefully, this will happen sooner than later so that Perú's people will be able to work together for a better future for all.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson