News from Lori's Parents

14 April 1999

In this update:

Fujimori quashes one false rumor about Lori and starts another

President Fujimori announced on Monday, April 12th, from Lima that Lori Berenson was alive. Rumors circulating all weekend that she had burned to death in prison were broadcast throughout Perú and in some US media.

President Fujimori then started another false rumor, stating that "the truth is Lori Berenson is enjoying good health in Socabaya Prison." President Fujimori has never met Lori. We can assure you that Lori Berenson is not in good health and that she enjoys nothing about her incarceration in Socabaya.

Rhoda visited Lori on Saturday and was in Arequipa when the newspaper and media reports were circulating that evening. Rhoda was permitted a five-minute visit on Sunday, April 11th, to verify for the US Embassy that Lori was in fact alive.

Perú's Congress passes law precluding foreigners convicted of treason from using the transfer treaty

On Thursday April 9th the Fujimori-controlled Peruvian Congress passed a law which requires foreigners convicted of treason to serve their entire sentence in Perú. The law still awaits President Fujimori's signature and it is unclear as to whether or not this apply to Lori and others already convicted.

Reminder: Please contact your Congressional Representative

The letter to President Clinton on Lori's behalf that is circulating through the House of Representatives has gathered 31 signatures in the first week even though Congress was in recess. The Representatives who have signed are listed below. If your Representative has not yet signed, please call him/her at 202-224-3121 and urge your elected official to contact Maggie McDow at extension 57944 to sign the letter circulated by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney of New York.

The first 31 signatures are from Representatives;

Bilbray (CA)Capps (CA)Capuano (MA)
Clay (MO)Dixon (CA)Doyle (PA)
Engel (NY)Frost (TX)Gutierrez (IL)
Hinchey (NY)Lantos (CA)Leach (IA)
J. Maloney (CT)C. Maloney (NY)McGovern (MA)
Miller (CA)Moakley (MA)Morella (MD)
Olver (MA)Pelosi (CA)Rush (IL)
Sanders (VT)Serrano (NY)Shays (CT)
Slaughter (NY)Stark (CA)Talent (MO)
Tierney (MA)Waters (CA)Wexler (FL)
Wynn (MD)

Save the dates: Berenson family to speak at Washington DC rally aimed at closing down The School of the Americas

A four-day rally aimed at closing down the School of Americas housed in Fort Benning, Georgia will take place from Saturday, May 1, through Tuesday, May 4, with events scheduled at the Pentagon, the White House, and the steps of the Capitol. Thousands of participants are expected. Volunteers are needed to hand out information about Lori during these events -- please e-mail us if you are available for this.

The School of Americas is the training ground for Latin American military officials and is often referred to as the "School of Assassins." Allegedly trained in anti-subversive methods, many graduates of this program have gained notoriety for compiling egregious violations in human rights in many countries in the Western Hemisphere including Perú. Colonel Juan Gonzalez Sandoval, the DINCOTE (Antiterrorism Military Police) official known as "The Jackal" who was in charge of Lori's interrogation (day and night for over five weeks), has a diploma from a Fort Benning program displayed prominently over his desk.

For more information about the School of Americas and this event, please refer to the SOA Watch web site which is

On Sunday, May 2nd, the Berensons will be speaking at the United Church of Christ and at Pox Christi. On Monday, May 3rd, and on Tuesday, May 4th, the Berensons will be speaking from the steps of the Capitol.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson