News from Lori's Parents

14 August 1999

In this update:

Responding to Peruvian "Fiction": The "FAQs" and the "FACTS"

The Peruvian government has recently compiled a list of responses to FAQs ("frequently asked questions") about Lori Berenson's case. The Peruvian Embassy in Washington has been sending this document (FAQ'S ABOUT LORI BERENSON'S CASE) to those who have written to Peruvian officials.

Interestingly, the Peruvian government's past rhetoric has far exceeded its present claims. The present Peruvian document is the first concrete statement of the charges against Lori, none of which are serious enough to warrant a life sentence, and none of which are true.

The Peruvian government's three claims, which it asserts demonstrate Lori belonged to the leadership of the MRTA are:

  1. Lori was the tenant of an MRTA safe house. (Lori was NOT the tenant of the safe house; she lived in an apartment far from this house and her name does not appear on the lease to this safe house).
  2. Lori posed as a reporter with fake ID. (Lori had legitimate press credentials APPROVED BY THE PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT).
  3. Lori made drawings of the Peruvian Congress. (Lori NEVER made such drawings).

In addition, as is typical of the propaganda used by the Peruvian government when discussing Lori Berenson, insinuating guilt by association, the document contains a prominent paragraph about MRTA activities in Perú, although MRTA activities have nothing to do with Lori Berenson. Moreover, this Peruvian document tries to justify Lori's trial by a military tribunal, outrageously claiming it was a "proper trial" that did not violate international law, and it also attempts to justify her inhumane treatment in Peruvian prisons.

The complete text of the Peruvian FAQs document appears on the web site. Following each response from Perú is a counter-response.

Visit to Lori

Mark visited Lori on Sunday, August 8th. Lori is now in her 11th month of isolation -- unable to communicate with or trust either the "arepentido" prisoners who live in her wing under a different prison regimen or the prison officials, both of whom harass her. Nevertheless, Lori's spirits remain strong. We continue to visit every two or three weeks because of the difficult prison conditions.

Save the date: Washington DC rally, Sunday October 10th

A rally to free Lori will be held in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, on Sunday, October 10th. Details will follow in future updates. Supporters interested in organizing buses, vans, and carpools should please contact us. Your help is most welcome!

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson