Lori Berenson: a nice Jewish girl from a nice Jewish family? You bet…

The CNN article Peruvian court grants parole to imprisoned U.S. citizen caused me to do some surfing. I didn’t know anything about Lori Berenson. The mere fact that a US citizen was imprisoned for 20 years in Peru – not for some drug-related mayhem and not for some domestic murder or anything of the sort – was sufficient to get me interested.

So, Lori Berenson: a nice girl, born to two professors: Rhoda and Mark Berenson. She is obviously talented, being accepted to MIT. She is big-hearted, volunteered for soup kitchens and blood banks, has done more volunteering work during her studies and later, in a big way:

Later she went to El Salvador and became secretary and translator for Leonel González, a leader of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), during negotiations that achieved peace in 1992.

All these good deeds were not enough for Lori and, after peace settled in El Salvador, she moved to Peru. Clearly Peru of the time wasn’t a model democracy, far from it. Corrupt, torn apart by violence, predominantly poor and governed by a semi-dictator Alberto Fujimori, Peru was indeed a nation to do some good for. And then a nightmare strikes. Let’s hear Lori telling her story by herself:

So, 20 years of jail by a secret military court is what a nice Jewish girl gets for wanting to change the corrupt and cruel system. Is there any doubt in your mind or in your heart that after 15 years of jail time, with a baby born in jail (in spite of a serious back problem which complicated her pregnancy), Lori deserves to go home and be free?

There is no doubt in my mind. Enough is enough, and it’s past time for Lori to go home, to see her parents and friends. Only…

Only let’s make the story tidy. Let’s tie up all the loose ends that you may not immediately discern in the glib and slick presentation of Lori’s case you’ve seen so far. The Free Lori Berenson, a young woman held political prisoner in Peru site, created by Lori’s parents, also wouldn’t help a lot with the mentioned loose ends. But let’s leave the site for dessert.

You see, Lori, upon arriving in Peru, didn’t look for soup kitchens, blood banks or secretarial services for a peace delegation of any kind. She decided instead to befriend the nice guys and gals of Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). MRTA were much smaller than their colleagues/rivals of the Maoist Shining Path, but largely similar in goals and methods. As everyone agrees:

The MRTA, inactive since the late 1990s, was a Cuban-inspired guerrilla group that waged a campaign of assassinations, kidnappings and bombings, but was dwarfed in the shadow of the far more violent and deadly Maoist Shining Path.

However, MRTA were deadly enough, murdering “only” 1.5% of the estimated 70,000 victims of the Peruvian violence. But of course, our Lori didn’t participate directly in the murders. This is why she and her doting parents claim that she is a political prisoner. Believable, but for these loose ends:

Berenson co-rented a large house in Lima in an upscale neighborhood. Much of the house was later used as a safe house by MRTA operatives, with up to 15 of them occupying their part of the residence. Berenson later claimed to be unaware of the connection and to have moved out some months prior to her arrest.

Could she really have been oblivious of 15 armed men sharing with her the house and filling it by arms, ammo and explosives?

Berenson obtained press credentials for herself and her photographer to the Congress of Peru, papers which were later reported to be “false journalist credentials”…Her photographer, Nancy Gilvonio, was actually the wife of Néstor Cerpa, the MRTA second-in-command — although Berenson claims she was unaware of this connection and claimed that she knew her only as a Bolivian photographer.

Does Lori’s version still sound credible? Not to me.

Berenson had entered the main Congress building with Gilvonio several times during 1995 to interview members of Congress. Gilvonio provided the information she collected to the MRTA including detailed information on the floor plans of Congress, its security and members. The plan was for the MRTA to invade the Congress building, kidnap the legislators, and exchange the hostages for MRTA prisoners.

Yeah, and again our Lori is blissfully unaware of the goings-on. Cool. But let’s proceed: as it’s stated above, Lori was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a secret military court. Still true, only:

In 2000, after years of political pressure from the United States and the human rights community, Peru’s Supreme Military Council overturned Berenson’s treason conviction and life sentence and remanded her case to the civilian court for retrial. On June 20, 2001, a three-judge panel convicted Berenson of collaboration with terrorists, but ruled she was not a terrorist. She was sentenced to 20 years…

But the political pressures, mentioned in this quote, don’t stop, and:

In 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States condemned the system under which Berenson was tried. Alleging violations of the American Convention on Human Rights, to which Peru is a party, Berenson’s case was referred to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States when the government of Peru refused to accept the Commission’s recommendations. On November 25, 2004 the Inter-American Court upheld the conviction and sentence.

Oops… so the girl wasn’t as snow-pure as she and her mom and dad say, after all…

And here what a rabbi says:

“She thinks the MRTA’s cause is justified,” said Ronald Greenwald, a New York rabbi who has been involved in negotiating prisoner swaps around the world. He has visited Berenson four times and is working behind the scenes to get the charge reduced to “apology for terrorism,” which carries a minimum prison sentence of six years. “I told her: ‘I don’t consider you a saint, Lori. I mean, you hung around with some pretty bad people.’ She came back with her ideological philosophy of repression,” Greenwald said in an interview in Lima during his last visit in September. Contradicting Berenson’s court testimony, Greenwald said Berenson knew full well that she was dealing with MRTA rebels but had rationalized her situation to tailor it to her belief in nonviolence.

Repentance? Hardly. And if you read more of the same article, you shall see what others say about Lori’s claims of innocence.

Now to intangibles. To start with, all the claims of innocence and uninvolvement you have read and heard so far look kind of funny when you consider this:

Peruvians still remember Berenson’s Jan. 8, 1996, appearance before television cameras, when she made her now famous declaration in defense of the guerrilla group. With fists clenched at her sides, her face contorted in anger, she shouted: “There are no criminal terrorists in the MRTA. It is a revolutionary movement.”

But OK, you might say, she was young and stupid then, and you don’t judge a kid saying something like this in the heat of the moment. Let’s skip forward then. Here is Lori, in 2010, pleading to be let free. Look at her face and try to decide for yourself whether you consider her apology really heartfelt. Now here is what Peruvians think:

But, to show you that compassion is not alien to good people of Peru:

So I too, like Peruvians and many others think that it’s time for Lori to go home. To join her loving parents, to start raising her kid seriously or, better, to let somebody who could ensure the kid’s sanity do it. Just let’s all stop pretending and lying to ourselves and to others.

Because Lori seems to be primed to join Amy Goodwin and her ranting fellows on Democracy Now. After all, she is not wasting her time in jail. Here she is already preaching about Katrina victims, Iraq, officials on vacation and whatnot:

I think she is worthy of Amy’s attention as a potential employee. Don’t you? In any case, check out Lori’s writings too… but don’t look for repentance, it’s simply not there.

As for her parents and their their Free Lori Berenson, a young woman held political prisoner in Peru site: it is deeply unfair and even, I would say, hypocritical, to invest a lot of time and attention in a site about one’s child and not mention the victims of the gang their daughter was involved with (she was and they know it). And, as a side remark: I hope they gave a thought or two to another question: where exactly their oh so progressive upbringing of their daughter went so terribly wrong?

And another question to wonder about: Say I were a parent of a daughter in a similar predicament: a long jail term, a conservative government I must beg to show some mercy, a nation that doesn’t like my daughter and her friends in general… So, would I list one Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT as one of the members of the Committee to Free Lori Berenson?

You bet…

Cross-posted on SimplyJews

Update: Instalink! Thanks, Glenn.

About SnoopyTheGoon

Daily job - software development. Hobbies - books, books, friends, simgle malt Scotch, lately this blogging plague. Amateur photographer, owned by 1. spouse, 2 - two grown-up (?) children and 3. two elderly cats - not necessarily in that order, it is rather fluid. Israeli.
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37 Responses to Lori Berenson: a nice Jewish girl from a nice Jewish family? You bet…

  1. Lori Watch says:

    Lori Berenson – – twice married to Latin American rebels has always been very precise in her choice of words – stating that she is not guilty of the “charges” against her and stating that she is not a “terrorist.” She has, however, openly defended MRTA (a Peruvian terrorist group) and its right to “revolutionary” action. If you are killed by a “terrorist” or “revolutionary,” does it really make a difference? Lori Berenson argues that terrorist violence is wrong but not revolutionary violence. Berenson condemns “indiscriminate violence.” It is understandable that Peruvians fail to appreciate this finely drawn distinction and her condescending attitude toward the people of Peru – the poor, benighted people of color. Perhaps this is what Berenson is really saying: “I am not ‘guilty’ because it is not a ‘crime’ to support MRTA. Therefore, I am innocent.” Her strong leftist ideology tells her that since the Peruvian system is corrupt it is not a “crime” to conspire or collaborate with revolutionaries against it or to try to destroy what is in her view an unjust system. In truth, Berenson is a political pilgrim – a revolutionary groupie. Certainly not a “journalist” as sometimes claimed (no publications or education in the field). If it is true that she did not have a fair hearing or a perfect trial it does not mean that she is innocent. An impartial international court in Latin America, in fact, has upheld her sentence. Berenson is a college drop out who has never held a real job in her life. During her political activity,she had been supported through a trust fund set up by her indulgent parents. Berenson is a spoiled brat (she complained in an interview that her father was treating her like a baby), but she is now forty years. Berenson was playing at revolution – a revolutionary dilettante.She lied for fourteen years about her involvement with the terroritst and only now has admitted any connection – and then with only a “regret” that she had been misunderstood. A recent article in the New Youk Times implied that she was a Jewish victim of a modern “Inquisiton.” And so she will ever remain the darling of the left.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    It’s good to see at least one of the leftist revolutionary-hugging Sandalistas get what they deserve.

  3. jay kactuz says:

    About 10 years ago I wrote to Lori’s family – her brother, who was leading a campaign to free her.
    Received a short, nice but somewhat acid letter back.

    The fact is that this young lady, to make a better world (in her mind), associated herself with people that murdered men, men and children. We are talking bombs in the street, cars and market places. This did not bother her because it was “for a better world”.

    I have seen it before (25 years in South America, 60s to 80s) – a young white idealistic liberal goes out to help the poor little brown people. She and her friends killed innocent people for a better world. When she and her revolutionary friends were caught, she lied.

    All one needs is to see the famous tape of her smarling and yelling that her camarada friends werte not terrorists.

    Later her family made excuses saying the Peruvians told yer to yell like that because the microphone was dead.

    On the “Free Lori” website her words were changed. Whe is quoted as saying “I don’t think they are terrorists” instead of “They are not terrorists.

    There is a world of difference. One implies direct personal knowledge of them and their activities, the other is an opinion.

    Well, Lori’s victims are still dead and their familes still missed their loved ones killed by Lori and her firends.

    Lori is free and still making excuses.

    Almost every Peruvian I know wants her in jail for the rest of her life, and then some. Hey, it was just little brown people she killed and it was for a better world, so what is the big deal? Every liberal knows that what counts are your feelings, not the pain and suffering of others.


  4. soccer dad says:

    Heh, I retire and Insty links to Meryl. Hey, wait that wasn’t Meryl, it was Snoopy!

    Nice work.

  5. Ice Nine says:

    Lori Berenson is a fuzzy-thinking, rabidly leftist ideologue who went down to Peru to play “freedom fighter.” She apparently didn’t perceive the difference between that and the reality of Big Time Genuine Terrorism and in her confusion (if you wish to be charitable anyway…) directly aided and abetted the murders of many people by the MRTA.

    Call her morally correct, call MRTA good guy freedom fighters, call her actions justified, excuse her actions however you want. I call her an unequivocal criminal. Regardless, here’s the bare bones fact: She played with fire and she got badly burned.

    It does not matter how justified your motives might be – you don’t go to a foreign country and participate in revolutionary anti-government activities and political mass murder and then be surprised when that government arrests you and throws the book at you.

    She should have gotten life. She was very lucky to do only fifteen. To hell with Lori Berenson.

  6. jgreene says:

    She’s fortunate she wasn’t executed. She is typical of left-wing, communist Terrorists – unrepentent. The living American communists from the 30s and 40s still believe in the Soviet Union and that the Rosenbergs were “innocent”.

    There is no sanity in the left-wing, anti-west, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Freedom lunatics.

  7. F says:

    I have a close friend who was assigned to the US Embassy in Lima during the time Lori Berenson was active, arrested and convicted the first time. My friend met with Berenson many times and did not see Berenson’s sentence as a miscarriage of justice.

    Some context: Remember that the period in question in Lima was one of great civil unrest: two terrorist organizations were exploding bombs around the country, assassinating government officials, judges and anyone who stood in the way of their designs. MRTA terrorists took over the Japanese Embassy during a large diplomatic reception in early 1997, with scores of diplomats from dozens of countries being taken captive during the initial attack. The Peruvian president at the time — Alberto Fujimori — is now in prison as a result of successful prosecution for human rights violations during his time in office, yet he was popular with Peruvians for ending the leftist terrorism that had been destroying the country for years before he took office.

    It was in this context that Lori Berenson arrived in Peru and took up with the MRTA. Perhaps that organization could seem to a young idealist like a defender of human rights against brutal oppression, but in Peru it was seen as a terrorist organization that killed with impunity. And they were seen as an organization that was defending economic and political policies that were inimical to Peru’s long-term interests. The average man in the street might have felt some sympathy for Berenson, but only in the context of being misguided and not understanding the situation on the ground. There is not much serious support (aside from her parents and some friends) for the proposition that she was unaware of the bad guys she was helping. Sure, bring her back to the US, but don’t believe for a minute that she was naive or that the MRTA is anything other than a band of murderous thugs.

  8. She said she wanted justice. From the appearance of things, that’s exactly what she got. I think what she wanted was actually mercy and forgiveness for her crimes. A little remorse might have helped her there, but even with that Peru is not the United States and they have a much more strict view of enforcing their laws than we generally do.

  9. Californio says:

    A ha! If she is released she will likely come to the USA to live the life of a stepford-wife capitalist reactionary. Yet she will also preach revolution – but she is actually a COUNTER-revolutionary. If she TRULY believed the crap coming out of her mouth, then she would immediately execute herself upon release for being a poseur revolutionary.

    Converts to the revolution can be so annoying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qLzQ4uOvio

  10. Vanguard of the Commentariat says:

    These left wingers always claim to be the smartest people in any room. Yet when defending their monstrous actions, they never seem to “know” anything. I mean, I sure know it when my grown son comes home for a couple of days and trashes the kitchen and drinks all my beer, and yet this brainiac had no idea 15 grown men were living in her house cleaning guns and making bombs? I guess she never cleaned the bathroom. You had it correct, she did not get involved in soup kitchens or blood banks or any other organization that ostensibly helps those who cannot help themselves (always the context for a left wing point of view). She got involved in terrorism and her reward has been to actually be the smartest person in the room for lo these many years (at least until the guards come in.)

    This is Rachel Corrie without a Caterpillar.

  11. SD – thanks, it’s a good sign, I gather ;-)

    jgreene – indeed.

    F – thanks for the info, it tallies nice with what I think about the whole story. Re the average man – the poll shows that not many Peruvians felt any sympathy for Lori.

  12. The Monk says:

    Berenson is an unrepentant useful idiot for a murderous Communist terrorist organization that helped cause tremendous damage to Peruvian society. They shouldn’t even commute her sentence.

    Lileks had a classic screed against Sara Jane Olson/Kathleen Soliah and every bit of it applies to Berenson.

  13. CJ says:

    Give the Peruvians credit for keeping her in jail for 20 years. Let’s hope they do as well with van der Sloot.

  14. DANEgerus says:

    Maybe she can follow in the footsteps of other unrepentant terrorists, like Bill Ayers, and go into Academia to take a tax-payer subsidized role in politics?

  15. FD says:

    She should be released to seek fame and fortune in the US, and her parents be put in jail for their egotism and what they did to her.

  16. ic says:

    “Perhaps that organization could seem to a young idealist like a defender of human rights against brutal oppression, but in Peru it was seen as a terrorist organization that killed with impunity.”

    Oh, but those capitalist running dogs deserved to be killed.

    “And they were seen as an organization that was defending economic and political policies that were inimical to Peru’s long-term interests.”

    Ah, Peru was perpetuating an oppressive capitalist system, even though like those stupid Americans from Kansas who voted against their own interests, most Peruvians had no sense that they were being oppressed.

  17. CJ – it was only 15 years, and it broke their resolve ;-)

  18. DANEgerus: I was betting on Ms Goodwin and Democracy Now, but if you insist on academy, I will not stand in the way.

  19. Walter Sobchak says:

    Well, maybe we should not give up hope. FWIW, from the NYTimes:

    “An American in Peru, Out of Jail but in Limbo” by Simon Romero on November 26, 2010:

    It is still not clear when Ms. Berenson’s punishment will end. Mr. Galindo, the antiterrorism prosecutor, is again appealing her parole. A tribunal expects to rule soon, potentially returning her to prison for the remainder of her sentence, until 2015.


  20. Yes, I get an Instalink and it’s my day to be in NorVA. Well, got some of the comments approved on my lunch hour.

  21. pst314 says:

    “As for her parents and their ‘their Free Lori Berenson’ site….”

    I would like to ask her parents what they would say to the mothers and fathers of those who were murdered by Lori Berenson’s “comrades”.

    Let her serve the full 20 years.

  22. jbc says:

    sounds like a future obama staffer

  23. pst314 says:

    DANEgerus “Maybe she can follow in the footsteps of other unrepentant terrorists, like Bill Ayers, and go into Academia”

    There’s always a friendly welcome for terrorists in academia.

  24. EdwinS says:

    *Not* a nice Jewish girl – Berenson may be descended from Jews but she herself is no more Jewish than G Soros or Porky the Pig. She doesnt identify with the Jewish people – if she wanted political adventure she could have opted for aliyah in Israel- but she has no interest in the fate of her people. She prefers LatinAmerican murderers – let her stay in jail for the remaining five years…

  25. Gringo says:

    Any US citizen who has spent a fair amount of time in Latin America- or anywhere outside the US- knows that it is best to refrain from involving oneself in local politics. They are not OUR countries, therefore not OUR politics. Moreover, any Peruvian knew that it would be very risky to get involved with the likes of MRTA. Laurie Berenson believed that her US passport would give her effective diplomatic immunity for her involvement with MRTA. To her chagrin, she found out that Peruvian laws were applied to her acts in Peru. It’s not like being involved in a safe and sound demonstration on a college campus in the US. They don’t play games in Peru. Sorry, Laurie.

    Laurie Berenson is an ideological imperialist. She brought her leftist ideology to Latin America, and allied herself with others seeking to impose their leftist visions upon society.

    That she was involved with the FMLN in El Salvador was an early indication of why she went to Latin America. Very non-violent people, the FMLN.

  26. wd says:

    And like Bill Ayers, 20 years from now she’ll be in the NY Times saying that she “didn’t do enough.”

  27. molly showalter says:

    she looks to me that she has suffered a long time in jail and is tired of crying….after a certain point you just smile at the ridiculousness of your sorrow. her face has serenity.

  28. corwin says:

    Diffidently, i point out Jonathan Pollard’s still imprisoned.I’m a little prejudiced because his father was a wonderful teacher and man.Still , I would much rather have him released and this person of evil kept in jail

  29. Cris says:

    She looks pretty healthy. The Peruvian prison system ppear to have treated her well. Lucky she didn’t wind up in a Cuban gulag. Let her serve her time-we’re full up on a-holes back here in the States.

  30. molly showalter says:

    she looks to me that she has suffered a long time in jail and is tired of crying….after a certain point you just smile at the ridiculousness of your sorrow. her face has serenity. Then, again, i don’t know the details of her stupidity or where she’s coming from..i only scanned the article. I too very much dislike dirty, greedy, lazy hippies.

  31. Mr. G says:


    You got it right. She is an ideological imperialist and she should rot. Don’t cry for her Argentina, Peru and anyone else with a brain.

  32. jcm says:

    an american woman was convicted for murder in Italy with no proof but her loose style of life and nobody cares about here.

  33. Gerry says:

    Muxh of what Yourish has published is to be Thankful for, but much more is left out. All kinds of details and damning info about Berenson, her family and friends is left out. Also the MIT prof who inspired her to go risk her ass in Central and South America leftist revolutionary politics. There had been other Grigos like her and there will be others in future.
    I have no sympathy for such screwballs. G

  34. lola says:

    A few remarks . First I do not deny that Lori’s situation is not clearly lily white. Neither her parents nor she have ever said this. However, you do have a few facts wrong. Her journalistic credentials were never “proven” to be fakes. The Peruvian Court using the circular logic that you are using said she couldn’t be a journalist because she had not studied journalism and that the magazines were “unknown” and that she was unpublished. Well she DID have agreements with these definitely left leaning journals and she WAS doing research to write articles for these journals despite the fact that she did not have BA in Journalism. Shockingly most journalists and article writers do not have degrees in journalism. This is no proof. Do you have a degree in journalism? Have you been published and paid for your publication from a “well known magazine”?

    Lori was found guilty by the court of Peru because she could not fully prove her innocence sufficiently. They said her having a beeper and a computer meant she was helping terrorists because she did not need these items ( really in 1995? journalists didn’t need computers?). The circuitousness of the ruling has always confused me. In any case this does not prove anything, only that I am very glad our society and government had rejected the Napoleonic Court of guilty until proven innocent.

    And another point- Lori does not have a brother- so the commenter who said this is either mistaken or lying. But I have no idea who would have written this commentator . It was definitely not a non-existent brother.

    Oh and Lori DID look for Soup Kitchens when she arrived in Lima and actually volunteered in one. She was so horrified by the conditions of the poorest women with their children with bloated bellies that she decided to write about the situation of women and children believing that the pen was mightier than the sword. It was especially disturbing to Lori because of the extreme wealth in Lima and the seemingly European atmosphere . The dichotomy between the developing world poor and the industrialized and developed world within the same city was too much for Lori not to write about.

    So though she is indeed a leftist, and a non violent revolutionary, she is also someone who has been imprisoned since she was 26 years old, has the hands of an 80 year old peasant from a disease caused by her years living in the cold and high altitude of the prisons in Peru. She has been in prisons with no running water, a cement block and thin mattress for a bed, a hole in the floor for a toilet, dependent on her family and prison mates for food and essentials (soap, clothes). If you do not think this woman has paid any dues she needed to then you are clearly close-minded.

    Finally I am not a family member but someone who previously worked on the campaign, and visited Lori once. I did not know her or her parents previous to working on her case but believed in her freedom and innocence and still do. I too have lived abroad, have volunteered for human rights organizations, and have a Masters in International Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, so I am neither naive, nor ignorant.

    Secondly one of the comme

  35. Hi Lola,

    Thanks for responding in detail to the post and to some comments. I hope you understand that this blog can’t be held responsible for the commentators who prefer to see Lori spending the rest of her sentence in jail. I said it at least twice: I am for her release. Now to your response:

    1. You say that you don’t deny that Lori’s situation is not clearly lily white. But at the end of the comment you say that you believe in her innocence. Strange, that.

    2. “Her journalistic credentials were never “proven” to be fakes”. Could be, but the source (Wiki, I believe), says so, and so do several others. No matter whether the credentials were fake or legit: she used them to get her friend, a member of MRTA and wife of the deputy chief, into the Congress building – and not just as a journalist.

    3. I am obviously not equipped to argue about the details of the trial, but the fact is that both the civilian court and (especially!) the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States, upheld the sentence, is telling, isn’t it?

    4. Lori may have been horrified by what she has seen in Peru, but is joining the murdering gang of “revolutionaries” the answer to the poverty and hunger? It never worked yet, and I wish you and Lori took some history lessons.

    5. “Non-violent revolutionary” is an oxymoron, Lola. She aided and abetted killers. Sorry, murderers. Again, I prefer to see her in US, but innocent she ain’t.

    And besides all that and beyond it: I have listened to her propaganda clips, and excuse me: the robotic chant of the old communist tropes doesn’t play well with me. I have too much personal experience with the shining peaks of socialism according to Lori, and thanks but no thanks. While I will fight to death for Lori’s right to spout this crapola, don’t expect me to listen to it. And don’t expect me to believe in her fake words of repentance. Repentant she ain’t.

  36. Jay Kactuz says:

    Lola, I made the brother comment and I accept you are right. I wrote to the “Free Lori” website many years ago and received a letter back from someone close to the young lady – probably not a brother.

    I did watch the infamous video and I do remember how Lori’s family misquoted her to made it seem she had no immediate, intimate knowledge of the terror group that lived with her. I found their excuses silly and stupid. In many ways, the Lori case reminds me of the Rosenberg boys, who (still?) travel the US proclaiming their parent’s innocence yet in their lectures seem to forget the figure of Stalin and what he did – and the fact that their parents accepted his doctrine and methods without question. To them, as with Lori, the pain, suffering and death of innocents is less important than the self-adoration derived from a fantasy of “doing good”.

    As to the “extreme wealth in Lima and the seemingly European atmosphere”, either Lori lived a very privileged life in the few better parts of Lima, or she must have lived in some other Lima Peru, not the one I saw.

    Oh yes, The people murdered by Lori and her friends are still dead. Their children still don’t have their mothers and fathers. I doubt that Lori will visit them to explain that her friends killed their parents for a better world.

  37. Gringo says:

    I was composing a reply to Lola, when I saw that SnoopyTheGoon had made much the same replies that I was going to make. Lori was rather tone-deaf to the situation in Peru. From 1980 through the early 1990s, Peru suffered through the depredations of Sendero Luminoso, a Maoist guerrilla group that killed everything in sight. An overwhelming majority of Peru gave a deep sigh of relief when Abimael Guzmán, Sendero Luminoso’s leader, was captured in 1992. While the MRTA was a much smaller group than Sendero was at its height, it used many of the terrorist tactics that Sendero did, just not on as big a scale.

    Lori Beronson affiliated herself with a guerrilla group that most Peruvians despised. It sounds to me that for all her concern about “the people,” Lori Beronson didn’t talk with many people to get an idea what people thought of MRTA. Or, perhaps she WAS aware of the disdain that most Peruvians had for MRTA, but rationalized that she knew better than most Peruvians what was good for them. Which makes her sound like an arrogant Gringa.

    An arrogant Gringa who believed that her blue passport gave her “diplomatic immunity” for anything.

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