A new law unanimously passed by Congress last night may allow Lori Berenson Mejía to serve the remainder of her 20-year jail sentence in the United States. Berenson was convicted of aiding the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), a known terrorist group in Peru, in an attack to overthrow the government.
The legislative proposal, Ley 2191-2008, allows foreigners serving jail time in Peru to be transfer to a prison in their country of origin. Congress passed the proposal 84 to one with the support of the Commission of Justice and the Executive branch.
If the law goes into effect, many prisoners, such as those jailed for attempted drug smuggling, stand to benefit by having the opportunity to transfer to their home country. If Berenson decides to make use of the law, she must make a request through her lawyers to do so. Ultimately, the judge will have the final decision whether to grant Berenson, as well as other prisoners, with a transfer or not.
The president of the Commission of Commerce, Juan Carlos Eguren, clarified that the law is “not pardoning anyone, only changing the place of imprisonment.”