2016-01-05 22:28:37

Lori Berenson After Being Held 20 Years in Peru: "My Objectives Were to Achieve a More Just Society"

The once-imprisoned U.S. activist Lori Berenson has returned home nearly two decades after being tried and convicted of collaborating with the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement in Peru. Berenson is a former student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who left school to become an activist in the 1980s in El Salvador during the Reagan years and then moved on to Peru. In 1996, she was tried by a hooded military judge while prosecutors used secret evidence against her, and was ultimately convicted to a 20-year sentence. For three years, she was held in the frigid Yanamayo prison in the Andes mountains in an unheated, open-air cell without running water. After a major outcry, she was later transferred to the Socabaya prison in Arequipa, Peru. Berenson was released on parole in 2010 but was barred from leaving Peru for good until her sentence expired a few weeks ago. Democracy Now! was the first to interview Berenson in the Socabaya prison and broadcast her voice to the U.S. public after she was sentenced, and has long covered her case. She now joins us for her first television interview as a free woman back home.

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