After 15 Years in Peruvian Prison, US. Citizen Wishes To Become Pastry Chef

Lori Berenson, a U.S. citizen, was sent to prison in Peru 15 years ago for aiding a leftist revolutionary group during a contentious time in the country's history. After serving three quarters of her 20 year sentence, she has been released on probation. Now she plans to raise her infant son, work as a translator and, of all things, try to open her own bakery.

It begins an interesting chapter in an already interesting life. The 40 year old New Yorker attended college at MIT, then moved to Latin America to work as a human rights activist. In 1995, at just 25 years old, she was arrested under suspicion of being a revolutionary leader. Her family claims that she was innocent, and that she never took up arms. She was given a life sentence by an anonymous military court, but after pressure from the U.S., was retried in a civilian court, then sentenced to 20 years in a prison in the Andes mountains. In 2003, while in prison, she met and married her husband (who is also her lawyer), and last year, gave birth to their son.

All told, Berenson, who must remain in Peru during her probation, has forged an unlikely though fascinating path to a potential baking career. For her sake, we wish her a quiet and happy future.


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