[Ppnews] Lori Berenson Update - December 5, 2006

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 5 11:30:59 EST 2006

December 5, 2006

To Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson:


On Thursday, November 30th Lori completed her 11th year of wrongful 
imprisonment in Peru.  It came at a time when the recently elected 
Peruvian President Alan Garcia is promising to make life tougher for 
political prisoners.  It is also a time that we look forward to a new 
Congressional composition in the USA that will hopefully improve 
things on many fronts.

Lori's continued wrongful incarceration was remembered in an 
article-"An American forgotten by the right, the MSM, and yes, the 
left" (see http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/11/14/85056/305 ).

Another recent article, "Golden Cages: Wealth and Misery in Peru's 
Highlands," discussing Peru and Lori, appeared in Z Magazine(see 
http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=11466&sectionID=20 ).


Lori is still in the north of Peru and is still working at the 
bakery.  Rhoda and Kathy visited her for her 37th birthday (Nov. 13) 
and they brought back the following end-of-year message:

Dear Friends,

         My best wishes to you from northern Peru, thanking you for 
your continued concern and support.

         Yet another year in jail is coming to a close, and I 
remember a repeated conversation I've had with my parents over the 
last two years:  What could I recommend that people do to change my situation?

         This is such a complex issue that I wouldn't even know where 
to begin to respond to it.  The year 2006 in Peru has been an 
electoral one.  There were two rounds of presidential elections at 
the beginning of the year and municipal/regional ones at the end.  A 
new government in power began its term calling for the restoration of 
the death penalty and harshening the legislation for those who 
protest (particularly the contamination caused by the irresponsible 
extraction of native resources such as gold, copper, natural gas, 
etc.).   Then the government of Alan Garcia launched a major 
offensive against the human rights community, seeking to restrict - 
even more - the functioning of NGOs through a new, controlling law.

         The leadership of both subversive armed organizations (the 
Shining Path and the MRTA) that existed in Peru during the eighties 
and early nineties were sentenced to very high prison terms; however, 
the policies of "reconciliation" have been limited to promised 
"reparations" to certain communities affected by the internal war.

         There is such a level of confusion on the issue of political 
violence in Peru, such continuous misinformation in the media and a 
momentary political utilization by the government as a "smoke screen" 
that it is extremely difficult to even fathom how to make a space for 
other opinions on that topic (even though people do say that a 
country that is incapable of understanding its past is condemned to 
repeat it).  My case is completely immersed in that pool of confusion 
and would be difficult to separate from it.

         The general trend is the restriction of jail 
benefits.  Prisoners for "terrorism" are having a harder time 
receiving those benefits now-a-days, and several filed-away cases are 
now being re-opened.

         So, what can be done?  We need to work to change the way the 
world is working, because Peru's problems with its past and present 
have everything to do with the general globalized horrific mess.  We 
have to stop the war in Iraq, close down Guantanamo, and help 
countries like Peru to become more just ones - which entails their 
comprehension of why people rose up against the systems of injustice 
and not a return to the use of the death penalty.

         My best to you all.

         Lori Berenson


We also want to express our gratitude for your continued concern and 
support for our daughter Lori.  All best wishes to you and your loved 
ones for this holiday season.

Rhoda and Mark Berenson

English Website:  www.freelori.org
Spanish Website:  www.lorilibre.org

The Freedom Archives
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(415) 863-9977
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