News from Lori's Parents

21 July 1999

In this update:

Congress amendment on Lori's release almost passes!

Following an emotional and chaotic debate on the floor of the Congress televised this afternoon on CSpan, Representative Maxine Waters' (D - CA) Amendment to H.R. 2415 about human rights violations in Perú and supporting Lori's release was defeated by a vote of 234 to 189. (We do not have a record of individual votes. If it is made available, we will put it on the web site). Interestingly, 5 Congressional Representatives voted "present" and 7 were absent.

Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), and Connie Morella (R-MD) spoke in support of the Amendment to seek Lori's release. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) spoke against the Amendment and Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY) was slated to speak against it, but time did not permit.

The 189 votes, constituting 44.2% of the Representatives making a decision on the Amendment, represents the largest block of support Lori has achieved in the Congress of the United States. It puts the government of Perú on notice that support for Lori continues to grow in the U.S. government and will clearly continue to impact on U.S. - Peruvian relations.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) who opposed the Amendment in the Congressional debate made it clear that even he is disgusted with human rights violations in Perú and appalled at the complete lack of due process in Lori's case.

We now await a promised full and formal hearing of Lori's case in the House International Relations Committee.

We thank all of you who called members of Congress on Lori's behalf.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson