Reporters on the Job
• Calling Lori Berenson : Staff writer Danna Harman interviewed Lori Berenson's father by phone in New York, who put her in touch with Anibal Apari (Berenson's husband) in Lima, Peru. Berenson's dad said that his daughter, convicted of terrorism in 1995 in a secret military tribunal, wasn't giving interviews to journalists.
But Danna spent parts of two days speaking with her husband. "I called him and suggested we meet for coffee on a Sunday evening in Lima, and he agreed," she says. "I really had no idea what to expect as here was someone who had just come out of jail after 13 years and is pretty much vilified in Peru as a terrorist. But he came across as a gentle, soft-spoken guy who talked a lot about what it had been like to miss that big a chunk of his life in prison.
Mr. Apari told her that he is now studying to be a lawyer, and has helped start a nongovernmental organization to help political prisoners (or former terrorists) make the transition to civilian life after they get out of jail.
Despite what Berenson's father had said about interviews, Apari encouraged Danna to try to talk to his wife. He told Danna how to reach her by phone. "When I called, she came to the phone," says Danna. "Her husband had already called and told her to expect my call. But she just said quickly, 'I'm sorry, can't talk to you.' "
Berenson hasn't given any interviews since losing her appeal a year ago. Danna suspects she's trying to lie low and get a reduced sentence for good behavior.
David Clark Scott