News from Lori's Parents

10 September 1998

In this update:

Latest Visit to Lori

Rhoda visited Lori on August 22nd. Lori's physical health remained unchanged. However, she had not yet been visited by specialists in gastroenterology, determatology, and throat that were prescribed last month by the International Red Cross and the authorized blood tests for liver function also had not yet been administered. Fortunately, the very cold winter in Southern Perú this year is soon ending.

Democracy in Perú? NY Times Calls Fujimori Dictator

This week, a major poll among Peruvian adults indicated that 80% believe Fujimori's style of government to be a dictatorship.

On Saturday, 29 August, the New York Times editorial "Latin America's Immovable Rulers" stated that voters in Latin America are rebelling against re-election bids by "presidents who control their judiciaries and other political institutions." It stated that President Fujimori changed Perú's Constitution to permit a second term and now "Mr. Fujimori is using an outrageous series of maneuvers to get a third term." The editorial concludes: "Now that the cold war is over, there are no patrons for outright dictators in Latin America. Mr. Fujimori is the worst of the region's new kind of autocrats, who keep a veneer of legality but plunder their countries' institutions to expand their powers."

Earlier that week, Cardinal Alzamora, the Archbishop of Lima, lamented the decline in the democratic atmosphere in his country.

Lori Speaks Out on Human Rights

In a letter written in June, Lori stated "I am a person that believes in humanity, in the fundamental rights of all human beings who inhabit this planet. I have been moved and continue to be moved by conditions of poverty, injustice, lack of equality, lack of rights, and the lack of respect for the fundamental rights of human beings to live in a dignified fashion."

How You Can Help!

  1. Congress is now back in session. If you have not called this month, please call your Congressional Representative and your Senators (local office or Washington, 202-225-3121) and ask for the Legislative Aide on Human Rights. Request that either a letter be written or a call to the White House be made, urging President Clinton to invoke 22U.S.C. Section 1732 to secure Lori's release. Sample letters can be obtained from John McPadden, office of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
  2. Call the White House Hotline (202-456-1111) or write to President Clinton urging the above action for Lori.

Southern California Event: Save the Date!

Latin American Encuentro Throop Unitarian Church, Pasadena Saturday, October 3rd, Time: TBA

The event will include a display for Lori. For more information, call the Office of the Americas, 213-852-9808, or e-mail,

Northern California Events: Save the Dates!

[For More Information, call 707-829-3314, or e-mail,]

Santa Rosa, California New College of California, Santa Rosa Campus, 99 - 6th Street Thursday, October 15th, 7:30 pm.

Kristen Gardner, MIT roommate and friend of Lori's, will speak on Human Rights Violations in Perú.

San Francisco, California Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street Friday, October 23rd, 7:30 pm.

To commemorate the upcoming third anniversary of Lori's wrongful incarceration, there will be an evening of speakers about Lori's case and the current political situation in Perú. Also, Peruvian music will be performed.

New College of California, Art Studio, 741 Valencia Street (between 18th and 19th) Thursday, October 29th, 7 pm.

The First San Francisco Bay Area Meeting of the Committee to Free Lori Berenson will be held to plan campaign ideas.

With many thanks as always,

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson