Chronology of Events in Berenson Case
Following are the events that led up to Lori Berenson's conviction in a civilian retrial for involvement in the 1995 plot by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA, to seize Peru's Congress. Berenson denied all charges.
November 1994: Berenson arrives in Peru with Pacifico Castrellon, a Panamanian whom she says she met by chance in an art gallery in Panama City. Castrellon would claim their trip was arranged by the rebels.
August 1995: Berenson moves out of the house she rented months earlier with Castrellon and into an apartment. Berenson continues to visit the house, but later denies any knowledge that hidden on the top floor were more than a dozen guerrillas and a stockpile of some 8,000 rounds of ammunition and thousands of sticks of dynamite.
Nov. 30, 1995: Berenson is arrested on a bus with the wife of MRTA leader Nestor Cerpa, Nancy Gilvonio, after they leave Peru's Congress. Berenson contends she hired Gilvonio, whose real identity she did not know, as a photographer for articles she planned to write.
Dec. 1, 1995: An 11-hour siege on a MRTA safehouse by security forces ends. A coded floor plan of Congress allegedly sketched by Berenson and a forged Peruvian election ID card bearing her photo are among the evidence seized.
Jan. 8, 1996: Berenson is presented to Peru's media. She angrily shouts, "There are no criminal terrorists in the MRTA. It is a revolutionary movement."
Jan. 11, 1996: A secret military court convicts Berenson of treason and sentences her to life in prison without parole.
Dec. 17, 1996: Thirteen Tupac Amaru rebels, led by Cerpa, storm the Japanese ambassador's residence during a social event and 72 hostages are held for 126 days. Among the rebels' demands is the release of 20 imprisoned people, including Berenson.
Aug. 28, 2000: After years of pressure from the United States, Peru's top military court announces it has overturned Berenson's sentence, paving the way for a new trial in civilian court.
March 20, 2001: Berenson's retrial on lesser charges of "terrorist collaboration" and "illicit association" begins.
June 20, 2001: Berenson convicted and sentenced to 20 years for collaborating with rebels, but acquitted of being active rebel militant. Her five years in prison count toward the total.