News from Lori's Parents

14 October 1999

This is day 1,415 of Lori's wrongful incarceration.

In this update:

The Committee to Free Lori Berenson establishes headquarters in Washington D.C.

The headquarters for The Committee to Free Lori Berenson is now located in The Methodist Building at 110 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington DC 20002, one block from the United States Capitol Building. The location allows for greater outreach to Congress and to the human rights community. Thanks to your continued support, this escalation of our efforts is now possible.

Gail Taylor has been hired as National Organizer of The Committee and is directing activities from this office. Ms. Taylor, who majored in international relations at the prestigious Maxwell School, is a graduate of Syracuse University. The headquarters telephone number is 202-548-8480 and the fax number is 202-548-8481. The email address is

Correcting The New York Times

On Wednesday, 13 October The New York Times erroneously reported that fifty imprisoned members of the MRTA "ended a three-week hunger strike in a high-security prison in the Andean city of Arequipa." This hunger strike took place in prisons in Lima and at the Yanamayo Prison in the Andean city of Puno, not in Socabaya Prison in Arequipa where Lori is incarcerated.

House of Representatives Resolution blasts Perú

On Monday, 4 October the House of Representatives passed Resolution 57 which criticizes Perú for interference with freedom of the press and the independence of judicial and electoral institutions. This "Sense of the House" Resolution opines that such interference contributes to an erosion of democracy and the rule of law in Perú. The Resolution states that persecution of journalists in Perú is so grave that several Peruvian journalists have sought political asylum in the United States. In addition, the Resolution brings into question the independence of the Peruvian judiciary system, citing a continuing control of judges and judicial matters by the executive branch.

The Resolution calls on representatives of the United States Government in Perú as well as in international organizations that deal with Perú (such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) to make clear the concerns regarding threats to democracy and violations of the rule of law in Perú.

Resolution 57, which did not specifically name Lori, comes ten weeks after the House narrowly defeated an amendment to a bill that was proposed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Her amendment cited the same human rights issues and called for the withholding of all but humanitarian aid to Perú unless Lori is released. Those members of the House who opposed the Waters amendment, arguing for a fair trial in lieu of release, should now see that such a trial is impossible in Perú, given the lack of judicial independence.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson