Lori Berenson arrived in New York today with her two-year-old son Salvador, following clearance yesterday by Peru’s Immigration Office, Digemin, to leave the country temporarily for the holidays. Berenson, on parole, was granted a temporary absence from Peru by the National Criminal Court and had planned to leave last Friday […]
Post Tagged with: "Lori Berenson"
American Lori Berenson was granted parole on Friday by a Peruvian judge after serving 15 years in prison for aiding leftist MRTA rebels in the 1990s. Judge Jessica Leon released Berenson, who was eligible for parole after serving three-fourths of her 20 year sentence, daily El Comercio reported. Leon had ordered […]
“Would it be easier, Mr. President, to expel Lori Berenson from the country to finish out this last phase of her sentence so she could serve it out at home?”
“I have three perspectives on Lori Berenson. The first is strictly legal. She committed a crime. She was involved in an attempt to seize the Peruvian Congress. She was convicted and she has yet to finish her sentence. There’s a debate whether she should finish out her sentence in prison. That’s a legal question. The second issue is, how much fear should Peru have of a woman who has already served 15 years in prison, who has a little baby boy? I see neither the reason why that should create an issue that divides us, nor create fear among the population. And for that very reason, thirdly, the president has the authority at certain times to lower the penalty and expel the person. But I am not a party to this fear. I don’t want that Peru gives life to ghosts and fear. And for that reason, leaving these things aside calmly over time the mind can re-adjust and realize there’s no reason for fear.”
“But does this third option sounds good to you? That’s a question.”
“There are various issue that arise. No? One is relations with the United States. Ms. Berenson, her parents, the Senators… Public opinion in America, which believes a fellow American is always innocent, no matter what they did. Taking that into consideration, she’s already served 15 years… She has a little baby. That moves me very much. Secondly, she is not a threat to Peru. That’s in the past already; it forms part of our yesterdays. There are some people who are very angry and want her punished to the very last day. But you can’t live life angry because he who holds in rancor ends up hurting himself. That’s something I have thought for a long time. So I am going to have to see.”
“It seems as though cases like mine and the whole issue of ‘rebrote terrorista’ have been smokescreens once again and again and again and again when it’s politically convenient.”