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Latino Daily News

Tuesday December 20, 2011

American Held in Peru: Lori Berenson Arrives in U.S. to Spend Holidays With Family

American Held in Peru: Lori Berenson Arrives in U.S. to Spend Holidays With Family

Photo: Lori Berenson Arrives in U.S. to Spend Holidays With Family

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American Lori Berenson, who has been held in Peru since being arrested in 1995, arrived in New Jersey Tuesday to spend the holidays with her family and introduce many of them to her two-year-old son.

Berenson, now 42, was arrested for aiding Peruvian guerrillas attempting an armed takeover of the government. She was convicted after she admitted to helping a rebel group known as Tupac Maru.

After landing in New Jersey, Berenson, escorted by a U.S. Embassy employee, was met by her mother Rhoda and a number of reporters. She and her family quickly got into a waiting vehicle and headed to her family’s East 25th Street apartment.

Rhoda last saw her daughter and her grandson, Salvador Apari, over the Thanksgiving holiday when she flew down to Peru to see them. Salvador is the son Lori had with her lawyer, Anibal Apari, from whom she’s now amicably separated.

Initially unapologetic for her part in the 20-year conflict, Berenson is said to have changed some and become the model prisoner. Though allowed to leave, she must return to Peru until her full sentence lapses.

Berenson was told she is court-ordered to return to Peru by January 11, and her mother told reporters, “I don’t know what there’s any concern. She agreed to go back … and she will.”

The last few days were quite hectic for Berenson who was paroled and told she could leave Peru to celebrate the holidays with her family, but then told she could not board a flight once she arrived at the airport in Lima. News reports were going back and forth on whether she’d ever arrive in the U.S., but once an additional document was provided by the Peruvian government on Monday, Berenson was finally allowed to leave.

Her father told reporters that his daughter is excited to show her son the New York and even snow.