[Marxism] New Year's message to friends and supporters of imprisoned Lori Berenson

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Jan 2 06:02:27 MST 2009


December 31, 2008

To Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson

                END-OF-YEAR MESSAGE FROM MARK AND RHODA BERENSON

Another year has elapsed and Lori is now in her 14th year of wrongful
incarceration.  Despite this, and the global economic crisis that affects us
all, there is some good news to report.  

Lori informed us in mid September that she is pregnant.  She was so elated -
and we, of course, were thrilled over news we never anticipated hearing.
Lori has always loved children and, at age 39, this is her first pregnancy.
For the past three months she has been busy reading about pregnancy,
childbirth and childcare.  We are now excitedly busy knitting - Mark a
blanket, Rhoda a matching sweater, cap and booties.
In Peru, mothers are able to keep their babies with them in prison until age
three.  Lori's parole date is scheduled for November 2010, when the child
will be 18 months old.  Of course, we hope she is released sooner.

Unfortunately, Lori's health remains delicate due to the very harsh
conditions she endured during the early years of her incarceration.  In July
an MRI confirmed that Lori neede

d back surgery for a disk problem that, without proper medical treatment,
could result in permanent damage.  The plans for back surgery have now been
postponed until after the birth of her child.  Because of her medical
situation, Lori is awaiting transfer to a prison in Lima where she will be
able to coordinate her prenatal care with the care for her back. 

We are hopeful that the Obama administration will make the needed foreign
policy changes that will restore the image of the United States to the
citizens of Latin America and around the globe.  And in this light, we hope
that renewed and even improved bilateral relations between the US and Peru
will result in Lori's release on humanitarian grounds.  

We are now in the process of updating the www.freelori.org website.  It will
include new suggested letters to the Obama administration and members of
Congress as well as other new material.  We will keep you informed as these
updates are completed.  We know Lori has prepared an "end-of-year statement"
that we will be posting but we won't receive it until our next visit to Peru
in mid-January. 

We close this message with some sad reflections.  In 2008 we learned of the
passing of five individuals who truly cared about Lori, about us, and about
human rights - long-time activists and champions of peace and social justice
Bob Menard, Susan Blake, Bob Carpenter, Don White and Paul Warsett.  Lori is
saddened that she never had the opportunity to meet them and personally
thank them.

Once again, thank you for your continued support through all these years.
May 2009 be one of health and happiness for you and your loved ones and may
2009 be a year of peace.  

Mark and Rhoda B. 






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