Skip to comments.Conviction of American in Peru Upheld (Commie Lori Berenson. Great News.)
Posted on 12/02/2004 1:06:12 PM PST by Rodney King
LIMA, Peru (AP) - The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has upheld the conviction and 20-year sentence of Lori Berenson, a New York native imprisoned in Peru for terrorist collaboration with Marxist guerrillas, President Alejandro Toledo said Thursday.
Toledo told Radioprogramas radio the Costa Rica-based court had "ratified the sentence and I once again salute the court members. It is undoubtedly a great satisfaction and tranquility for Peruvian justice and all Peruvians."
His comments were a response to unconfirmed news reports about the ruling, which the court has yet to officially announce.
The human rights court, the legal arm of the Organization of American States, last week debated Berenson's appeal of her conviction in a civilian retrial in 2001.
The court will officially notify the two sides of its decision by Friday, court spokesman Arturo Monge said in Costa Rica. "The court cannot control what people outside the court say," he said in response to Toledo's comments.
Peru's representative magistrate on the Costa Rica court told local news media earlier this week he could not reveal the ruling, but was "satisfied" with it.
Berenson, 35, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropout, has spent nine years in Peruvian prisons. Her scheduled release date is in 2015.
Berenson denies any wrongdoing and maintains she is a political prisoner whose concern for social justice was distorted by authorities to look like a terrorist agenda.
Jose Luis Sandoval, Berenson's lawyer in Peru, told The Associated Press that the court had been expected to notify her family and the Peruvian government of its decision on Thursday but the legal team had received no notification that it had done so. Phone calls to Berenson's family in New York City were not answered.
Berenson appealed to the Inter-American court as a last resort after Peru's Supreme Court upheld a June 2001 conviction in a civilian retrial on a charge of "terrorist collaboration."
Her legal team, led by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, argued, among other things, that her trial failed to meet international standards for fairness.
She was improperly tried twice for the same crime, Clark said, and faced hostile judges who relied on coerced testimony and tainted evidence from an earlier military trial. Berenson has denied any wrongdoing.
Peru is bound as a member of the Inter-American court to follow its ruling and a decision to release Berenson could have had explosive repercussions.
Berenson, who was arrested in November 1995, was convicted by a secret military court the next year and sentenced to life in prison for being a leader of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and plotting a thwarted attack on Peru's Congress.
After years of pressure from the United States, Peru's top military court overturned the ruling in August 2000 and sent her case to a civilian anti-terrorism court.
The civilian court ruled that Berenson aided the MRTA rebels by renting the safehouse and posing as a journalist to reconnoiter Congress alongside a top rebel commander's wife, who pretended to be a photographer.
She denies knowing her housemates were rebels and testified that she was preparing articles about womens' rights and poverty for two left-leaning U.S. magazines.
Berenson moved out of the MRTA safehouse house three months before her arrest and said she knew nothing about activities on the top floor of the house, where police discovered 8,000 rounds of ammunition and dynamite.
The international appeal was initiated in 2002 on the recommendation of the Washington-based Inter-American Human Rights Commission, which alleged that Peru violated Berenson's human rights at both trials and subjected her to inhumane conditions during her detention from 1996 to 1998 at the frigid Yanamayo prison, 12,700 feet above sea level in the Andes.
After her 2001 retrial, Berenson was transferred to the Huacariz penitentiary in the Andean city of Cajamarca, 350 miles north of the capital, Lima.
Her book deal, made-for TV movie, speaking tour, and Playboy spread, have thus been put on hold indefinitely..
"She denies knowing her housemates were rebels and testified that she was preparing articles about womens' rights and poverty for two left-leaning U.S. magazines."
Wonder if the editors of these two magazines testified?
At least we're not paying to put food in the mouth of this terrorist.
If she was being held in the US, I'd say kill her.
Yup..see who can conceal the largest, and most number of foreign objects on their persons..
She lived with them, slept with them. Too bad Ramsey Clark cvouldn't spend a few years keeping her company.
Having lived in Lima a few years, I'd say she should have received a mandatory bullet in the head following either conviction 1, or 2.
Not being able to accomplish that, the parents should receive monthly/annual bills for her room and board. Other than that it should be a 900 calorie per day died of beans, rice and hard bread.
I feel sorry for her parents. This girl is (I believe) the only child of NYC middle-class parents. I'm sure her parents are lefties, but I'll bet they never supported their daughter's loony left-wing antics in Peru.
Lori Berenson is the daughter of Mark and Rhoda Berenson, who are retired college professors. This reprinted Guardian article gives a little information on them: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/120400-01.htm
To make a long story short: Lori was a spoiled rich daughter of liberal suburban NYC parents, and decided to give the radical chic thing a try. It's virtually certain that her parents were supporting her daughter's amusements, right up to the point where reality intruded.
We should have prosecuted her for treason against Peru? The Shining Path wasn't at war with the United States.
Unfortuntely, I think they moved her to another one.
I'm sure that Berenson is in one of the plusher Peruvian federal prison, certainly on a par with our federal prisons, maybe even better. She gets plenty of fresh air and the comradeship of the cream of Peruvian criminality.
Her parents are the lions of NYC radical progressive liberal society and probably are honored guests at all the NYV commie cell reunions (they are not as much fun these days and the only folks who attend them now seem to be retired NYC teachers).
The Lincoln Brigade reunion and the "Show Business Victory Over the HUAC" Party are coming up soon and they will both be able to send mighty messages of solidarity to Lori. Did we ever get Viet Cong John's position on working to release Lori?
By the time she is let out of Peruvian prison, there may be NO MORE countries in the world with Communist governments!
The caricature of Clinton's nose was most instructful, as was the depiction of Hillary clearly in a man's suit.
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