[One of the grossest injustices that will not be rectified until Bush is out of office is the barbaric imprisonment of Lori Berenson in corrupt Peru:

http://www.freelori.org/whoislori.html

Clinton and a number of our Congresspersons were trying to get Lori out when Bush was elected — who walked away from her and Latin America in general except for a weak attempt to remove Hugo Chavez from office. Lori was a poverty worker in Latin America, framed by the corrupt regime of Fujimori as an alleged worker with a terrorist group. Weak leadership there ever since has kept her imprisoned in horrendous conditions. She does her best to make a positive contribution to people there even while imprisoned. Ed Kent]

December 5, 2006

To Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson:

LORI BEGINS 12th YEAR OF IMPRISONMENT

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 ).

END-OF-YEAR MESSAGE FROM LORI

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

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Israel_Palestine
http://BlogByEdKent.blogspot.com/

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