News from Lori's Parents

27 February 1996

In this update:

Recent Visits to Lori

Lori's lawyer, Dr. Achahui, visited her on Thursday, Feb. 22nd. He spent 30 minutes with her but a double mesh screen separated them so he could only see her shadow. She continued to proclaim her innocence of the charges against her.

As autumn approaches, Lori requested even warmer clothes. Her hands are all dried, cracked and bleeding, probably because of the cold and the necessity to wash both herself and her clothes in ice cold water. In addition, the quality and quantity of the food has deteriorated and we may have to arrange for supplementary food to be delivered. The US Embassy will be visiting her in two weeks. Fortunately, Embassy personnel will be able to see her up close (no screen).

Transfer to a U.S. prison

There has been some confusion as to why Lori does not want to be transferred to a US prison. The basis for such a transfer is a 1979 treaty between the US and Perú. As interpreted by our lawyers, such a transfer would enable her to serve out her sentence here, but it would not enable her to appeal the sentence of "life without parole." It would not result in her "early release." If the U.S. were to release her, it would break the treaty and thereby prohibit other Americans from making such a transfer. There was one case wherein an American citizen arrested in Mexico was sentenced without any due process and transferred. (A similar treaty exists with Mexico.) He appealed to U.S. courts but the judge decided that agreeing to transfer meant agreeing to the sentence and he rejected the appeal.

Lori, and her lawyers, think there will be a greater opportunity for a change in sentence (due to change in government, general amnesty for political prisoners, diplomatic reasons, etc.) if she remains in Perú. Lori considers herself an ideological prisoner and she hopes that someday she will be given a real trial in which she has the opportunity to clear her name.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson