Accessibility links

American Convicted in Peru Returns Home

  • VOA News

FILE - Lori Berenson sits in a migration office in Lima. Berenson was sentenced to life in prison for helping the Tupac Amaru leftist rebel group plan an armed takeover of Congress.

FILE - Lori Berenson sits in a migration office in Lima. Berenson was sentenced to life in prison for helping the Tupac Amaru leftist rebel group plan an armed takeover of Congress.

U.S. citizen Lori Berenson, convicted in Peru of helping Marxist insurgents, has returned home after 20 years of detention and parole in the South American nation.

Berenson, 46, and her 6-year-old son arrived in the United States Thursday.

Berenson has been living quietly in Lima since her 2010 parole because she was barred from leaving the country until her sentenced expired.

A daughter of college professors, Berenson dropped out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and headed to Latin America to support leftist movements. She worked for rebels in El Salvador before traveling to Peru in late 1994.

She was arrested in 1995 and initially sentenced to life in prison for helping the Tupac Amaru leftist rebel group plan an armed takeover of Congress. The attack never took place.

Berenson's sentence was overturned in 2000 and she was retried in a civilian court. She was sentenced to 20 years, the final five of which she was allowed to serve on parole in Peru. She was allowed to visit the United States in 2011 but returned to Peru to finish her sentence.

Berenson has publicly apologized for collaborating with the rebel group, and said she was not a militant or a leader and did not participate in any violent acts.

In 2003, Berenson married her lawyer, Anibal Apari, who spent 12-and-a-half years in prison for involvement with the rebels. Apari is the father of Berenson's son, but the two are now divorced.

XS
SM
MD
LG