March 12, 2001

Berenson's parents going to Peru

                  NEW YORK (AP) -- The parents of a New York woman whose life sentence
                  for terrorism was overturned by a Peruvian military court said they are
                  going to South America to attend her new civilian trial.

                  "I'm taking all of my clothes. I'm not coming back to this country until the
                  case is resolved," Lori Berenson's father, Mark Berenson, said from his New York
                  home on Monday.

                  He and his wife, Rhoda Berenson, were planning to leave for Peru on Tuesday.
                  Their daughter's new trial is scheduled to start March 20.

                  Mark Berenson said he was told the trial could last anywhere from 15 days to
                  four months. He said he hoped to "bring Lori back in freedom."

                  Lori Berenson, a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology student, was
                  sentenced to life in prison in 1996 by a Peruvian military court on charges of
                  treason for helping the leftist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement plan a
                  takeover of Congress.

                  But after years of pressure from the United States, Peru's top military court
                  overturned her conviction in August, granting her a new civilian trial for a lesser
                  charge of terrorist collaboration.

                  Police had said the takeover plan was foiled by Berenson's arrest and a raid on a
                  rebel safe house where she admittedly lived in 1995.

                  Berenson, who is in a women's prison in Lima, Peru, denies she was involved in
                  the takeover plot and maintains she never knew her former housemates were
                  members of the rebel group.

                  Last week, Peru's Congress was shown a secretly taped video of Vladimiro
                  Montesinos, who ran Peru's national intelligence service, that revealed he planned
                  the military court's decision to overturn Berenson's conviction two years in
                  advance and had even discussed getting her a pardon.

                  Peru's interim president, Valentin Paniagua, has said that Berenson's trial would
                  be fair and open. Prosecutors have called for a 20-year sentence.

                  Montesinos is thought to have left the country as former President Alberto
                  Fujimori's regime collapsed amid a corruption scandal. Fujimori is in Japan.

                  Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.