U.S. citizen Berenson freed from jail in Peru

Reuters -- 27 May 2010

by Pilar Olivares and Terry Wade; Editing by Vicki Allen

LIMA (Reuters) - U.S. citizen Lori Berenson was freed from prison in Peru on Thursday after serving 15 years of a 20-year sentence for being a leader of a leftwing guerrilla group.

A native New Yorker who studied at the elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she had been behind bars since being arrested on a bus in Peru in 1995 on charges of being a leader of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA, an insurgency that was active in the 1980s and 1990s.

Her family maintained that she was wrongfully convicted and that she never took up arms during a period of acute social unrest in the Andean country.

On Tuesday, court officials granted her parole at a prison in the Chorillos neighborhood of Lima where the 40-year-old has been living with her infant son.