Six Years Ago, Lori Berenson, an American college student, was conducting a research project in Peru when the government detained her for high treason. Her inexplicable arrest marked the beginning of an unimaginable nightmare for the Berenson family that continues today.
Declaimed by then President Alberto Fujimori as a threat to national security, Lori was charged as a leader of the Peruvian terrorist group Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) and tried without due process by hooded military officials. This anonymous tribunal broke four international treaties on legal rights, and even its national constitution, in order to convict Lori -- a conviction protested by human rights organizations -- and sentence her to life without the possibility of parole. Isolated in a Draconian mountaintop prison with no heat, electricity, or running water and less food than could sustain her, Lori's health swiftly deteriorated.
As told by her mother, this is a journal of Lori's harrowing plight and of Rhoda and Mark Berenson's quest to free their daughter. Both parents gave up promising academic careers to lobby full-time for Lori's release, and Rhoda Berenson vividly records the grueling experiences and emotional roller coaster of their several years struggle. She describes the family's unwavering dedication, the anger, the sadness, and the behind-the-scenes negotiations with politicians. Her gripping account, combined with excerpts from Lori's letters, gives the reader an inside view into a world of sensitive politics, military courts, torture, corrupt prison commandants, terrorist insurgency, and police reprisals.
The dramatic ordeal of this courageous family sheds harsh light on humanrights injustices and offers a moving testament to both a family's love and to its strength of spirit and character.