News from Lori's Parents

3 December 2004

In this update:

Inter-American Court reverses Inter-American Commission in Lori's case

Yesterday was a tragic day for human rights in the Western Hemisphere and in the world. In the early morning President Toledo preempted the Inter-American Court's official decision and addressed his nation on TV and radio, praising the Court for Perú's "victory" over Lori and terrorism. We were finally notified of the verdict late in the afternoon. Peruvian sources state that Lori's case marked the first time in its history that the Inter-American Court reversed a decision of the Inter-American Commission.

An inexplicable result and a sad day for human rights

By supporting the position of the Peruvian government against the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, which ruled unanimously, 7 - 0, to condemn the system under which Lori was twice tried, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the highest judicial body in the Western Hemisphere, has incomprehensibly reversed its own position for the past 12 years and demonstrated support for the judicial processes promulgated by the totalitarian regime of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and his "advisor" Vladimiro Montesinos.

There was one dissenting vote. The Chilean Justice strongly argued that the laws under which Lori were tried violated the American Convention on Human Rights and because of that Lori should be granted immediate liberty.

We are greatly saddened, not only for Lori, but for all people wrongfully convicted and denied due process and fundamental rights throughout the Western Hemisphere who look to the Inter-American Human Rights system for help. This system has failed.

This is a defeat we could not have expected in our wildest dreams. We spoke with Lori and she stoically said the same. She was quite calm but extremely saddened for the hundreds of Peruvian political prisoners who looked at her case with hope that a correct decision would eventually allow them to receive real justice in Perú.

A hope for a better tomorrow

Once again, we want to express our appreciation for your friendship and support that have helped sustain us over these nine years and many sleepless or nightmarish nights.

Despite this agonizing personal disappointment today, and despite the horrific problems we read about daily which occur around the world, we will never lose the hope that as long as people, like Lori, stand up to injustice, the children of our planet will have a better tomorrow.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson