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The Honorable _______
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

U.S. House of Representatives Actions

Lori's own Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has sponsored House letters to President Fujimori, President Clinton, and Secretary of State Albright, in addition to sending numerous individual letters to both Presidents and other officials concerned with Lori's case. She has monitored Lori's condition and been willing to intervene in any manner possible to help improve the conditions of Lori's incarceration and obtain justice for her. In addition, she went the "extra mile" for her constituent - in fact the extra 8,000 miles (round trip to Perú) to visit Lori in prison.

In addition, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has committed herself to fighting for Lori's release. In addition to numerous calls and letters on Lori's behalf, she proposed an amendment to a State Department authorization bill in July 1999 which called for Lori's release. 189 Members of the House voted for this amendment.

Other strong supporters in the House include Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Connie Morella (R-MD), and Jim Leach (R-IA). In all, a majority of the House has expressed official support for Lori's release, either by Congress withholding non-humanitarian aid to Perú or by President Clinton using diplomatic means .

Majority of House Supports Lori

Between the June 1999 letter to President Clinton and the proposed amendment (see below for details on both), a majority of the House of Representatives has shown support for Lori's release. A total of 225 of the 435 voting House members (52%) have expressed their support, as have four of the five nonvoting House delegates.

House of Representative Letters

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has sponsored four "Dear Colleague" letters to various Peruvian and U.S. officials on behalf of Lori.

Proposed Amendment to H.R. 2415 - July 1999

In July 1999, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) offered an amendment calling for the U.S. to "use all available diplomatic efforts to secure the release of Lori Berenson" and stated that "in deciding whether to provide economic and other forms of assistance to Peru, the United States should take into consideration the willingness of Peru to assist in the release of Lori Berenson."

The Amendment, although defeated, received approval by 44.2% of the Representatives casting a decision on it. The government of Perú was put on notice that Lori's support in the U.S. Congress continues to grow. The transcript of the Congressional debate is also available.

Congressional Human Rights Caucus

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney chaired a Congressional Human Rights Caucus on June 30, 1999 to discuss Lori's case. The event was cosponsored by the Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA) and John Edward Porter (R-IL).

Congressional Colloquy

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) and Bill Richardson (D-NM) held a Congressional Colloquy on June 20, 1996 to discuss human rights abuses in Perú, and Lori's case in particular.