Lori Berenson is a New York-born social activist whose adult life was spent in Central and South America.
Lori Berenson firmly believes in the need to work for a better world for all, for a world in which the fundamental rights of all are respected.
His love for Latin American countries and cultures goes beyond an interest in their customs or folklore. She believes that the cultural richness of these countries should not be seen only from the perspective of a tour guide but that they should be taken into account in the construction of a new and better society that respects the national pride and dignity of all peoples that, for centuries , they have been conquered.
Who is Lori Berenson?
Lori Berenson has participated in research work, as well as secretarial, translation, writing and editorial work. At the time of his arrest, he was writing articles for two progressive magazines in the United States.
On November 30, 1995, Lori Berenson was arrested on a public bus in downtown Lima, accused of leading an insurgent organization, the MRTA. A “faceless” https://learn-russian.biz/ (hooded) court, using counterterrorism legislation enacted during a state of emergency, sentenced her to life in prison for “treason.” Four and a half years later Due to international pressure, his sentence was revoked and he was rejudged by a civil court under the same anti-terrorism legislation. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence for collaboration with terrorism.
In April 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights declared that Lori Berenson had been treated twice for illegal antiterrorism laws that did not meet international standards and that violated her right to due process. The Commission further stated that Peru did not show evidence in its conviction of Lori Berenson and ruled that her rights be fully restored and that Peru must completely amend the illegal antiterrorist laws.
Since Peru refused to comply with the Commission’s recommendations, the Commission took the case of Lori Berenson, who questions the antiterrorist legislation, before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where it is now awaiting its ruling.
Lori Berenson continues to express, from prison, her concern for social justice and human rights. He has repeatedly pointed out that lawsuits that deny due process and wrongful convictions under the illegal antiterrorist laws cited above are very common in Peru, and that thousands of people have been affected. In this way, your case is far from exceptional.
In the case of Lori Berenson, there were numerous abuses of due process and human rights and irregularities, which occurred during her detention, her two trials and imprisonment. Lori Berenson was subjected to abusive treatment, described as “cruel, inhuman and degrading” by various human rights organizations, but the physical and psychological abuse suffered by many others has been worse.
As in the case of Lori Berenson, thousands of people convicted of these unjust anti-terror laws were and are innocent of the charges, or were sentenced to disproportionately high penalties. What is worse, almost all of them have been brutally mistreated or savagely tortured during their detention, or even in prisons. The abuse has not been directed only to try to obtain information or to force them to incriminate themselves, but also as part of a state policy of hatred and revenge against the insurgents. Lori Berenson has specifically asked that her website highlight that this is an effort to give due respect and dignify the voices and human rights of those people.
Lori in Central America and Peru
Lori’s desire to travel to Central America was more than just interest or curiosity. At that time, a brutal three-decade civil war had claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, not to mention the thousands of civilians who died in the civil wars in El Salvador, Honduras, transcendental meditation scotland and Nicaragua.
The unfair distribution of land and wealth, and the horrors she had seen in the civil war convinced her to devote her time to working with the Salvadoran people. Lori worked with CISPES- The Committee of Solidarity with the People of El Salvador.
In 1990, Lori moved to Nicaragua to work with the Salvadoran refugee community displaced by the war. Lori helped religious and human rights groups with projects to find the missing and help those seeking political asylum. During the peace process, Lori collaborated as a secretary and translator for Salvador Sánchez Ceren, a leader of the FMLN. Following the peace accords in January 1992, which ended the twelve-year civil war, Lori returned with the refugee community to El Salvador and lived in San Salvador. She continued her work with the FMLN party and served as an observer during the national elections.
Lori traveled to Peru in November 1994. Her interest was in the complex political situation that Peru was experiencing at that time. In April 1992, Peru had witnessed a “self-coup” and political destabilization when President Alberto Fujimori sought to impose peace and order on the chaotic nation with tough leadership and repressive anti-terrorism laws. Lori traveled the country knowing its culture and its people,
After five years of experience in Latin America, Lori was able to obtain contracts from two US publications, “Modern Times” and “Third World Viewpoint”, to work as a freelance journalist. At the time of her arrest, she was conducting an investigation into the effects of poverty on Peruvian women. He also wrote a report on the decentralization process that Peru was going through in those days.
Selected Violations of Lori Berenson’s Rights in the Civil Trial
Here is an outline of some selected violations of Lori’s rights in the civil trial
- Violation of the right not to be tried twice for the same facts The new process violated this international principle and Peruvian law, since Lori was reprocessed on the same facts already reviewed and determined as insufficient to sustain a conviction in the military court. The civil trial was based on the same witnesses and evidence used by the military court to reach its verdict in January 1996 tm in scotland, a verdict that was overturned by the Peruvian Supreme Council of Military Justice in August 2000.
- Violation of the right to presumption of innocence as guaranteed by the American Convention on Human Rights and Peruvian law.
The public phase of the trial began with Lori locked in a cage guarded by four soldiers. Only after his protest was he allowed to move out of the cage. Throughout the trial the Peruvian press published images of her behind bars and referred to her as an MRTA terrorist, presuming her guilt. Before the trial had even begun, government officials, members of the Peruvian Congress, judges and other court officials, members of the Peruvian human rights community, political analysts, and media commentators declared their “guilt.” A paradigmatic case is that of Ronald Gamarra, a prominent human rights lawyer, who told the New York Times, on March 19, 2001, the day before the public hearing will begin, that “our assessment is that she deserves a fair and correct trial, but that in a free court she would be condemned.” And in an interview with the newspaper El País, on April 22, 2001, in full trial, Chief Judge Marcos Ibazeta said that the verdict “will depend on whether she convinces us of her story,” stating that he expected Lori to prove her innocence. instead of the prosecution proving guilty.
- Violations of the right to a fair trial for the use of coerced, insubstantial and contaminated evidence.
The charges against Lori were based almost exclusively on tainted evidence from military court files conducted in December 1995, despite the fact that each of the witnesses retracted that testimony during the civil proceeding, citing coercion, threats of torture. and / or absence of legal representation when they presented them to the military court. Many documents accepted as evidence were seized, cataloged and kept by the Peruvian antiterrorist police days after Lori’s arrest and were not authenticated or relevant to the charges.
- Violations of the right to a fair trial with due process guaranteed by an impartial, independent and competent court.
The Peruvian judicial system was universally criticized during the Fujimori administration for its lack of independence. Lori’s trial began under this administration with judges and prosecutors during the investigative phase who were seized by Fujimori / Montesinos and continued after Fujimori fled the country under the command of officials designated during his administration. In October 2001, four months after his conviction, the New York Times reported that Justice Minister Olivera, when talking to Montesino, who had been in prison for almost four months, said that “he still controls judges.” Videos secretly filmed by Montesinos in 1988 link the Chief Judge in Lori’s trial, Marcos Ibazeta, with dishonest conduct in the Fujimori government. What’s more, Jorge Ibazeta prejudiced Lori in July 1999 in press interviews when, despite admitting that he did not know the “details”, he described her petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as “irrational.” He referred to her as a “terrorist” and said she was a member of the MRTA “bureau” or high command even though she was never charged for it. Judge Ibazeta was confronted with this act of prejudice but refused to withdraw from the case. Additionally, while conducting the public trial, Judge Ibazeta was also one of the main candidates for the prestigious position of Ombudsman of the Peruvian government. This candidacy was to be voted on in Congress, many of whose members had declared that Lori was guilty. He used the case to campaign for that position, demonstrating its strong position against terrorism with great prominence before the press. Several times he described violent acts committed by the MRTA – an act that occurred decades ago and not associated with Lori or this case – clearly to prejudice public opinion. Long before all the evidence was presented and conclusions could have been drawn, he told Lori: “You had come to Peru to be the ‘sun’ around which the MRTA revolved.” This and other statements suggesting guilt were widely picked up by the press. Long before all the evidence was presented and conclusions could have been drawn, he told Lori: “You had come to Peru to be the ‘sun’ around which the MRTA revolved.” This and other statements suggesting guilt were widely picked up by the press. Long before all the evidence was presented and conclusions could have been drawn, he told Lori: “You had come to Peru to be the ‘sun’ around which the MRTA revolved.” This and other statements suggesting guilt were widely picked up by the press.
The other two judges were also guilty of reaching conclusions before the trial was over. At the beginning of the public phase, Judge Araujo said: local tmscotland centres “We consider that you have been the financier of the MRTA.” This produced headlines despite the fact that it was none of the charges against Lori and that she was never mentioned again. Judge Manrique, after an extremely harsh interrogation, declared that Lori may not have been a leader of the MRTA but that she was a militant, thus concluding that she was guilty of this charge before even hearing all the evidence or any of the witnesses.