Lori Berenson, the New York native who spent over 15 years in a Peruvian prison after her 1996 conviction in a foiled terrorist plot, arrived at Newark Liberty Airport this morning as part of a sanctioned holiday visit. Before finally taking off in Peru with her 2-year-old son Salvador, she told an AP reporter, in reference to her mandated January 11 return date, "I just hope we don't get caught in a snow storm."
A panel of judges ruled last Thursday that Berenson, who is on parole until November 2015, may return to the U.S. to visit her family. But on Saturday, Berenson was inexplicably prevented from boarding a plane in Lima by immigration officials. Peru's top terrorism lawyer filed a complaint against the ruling on Friday, but Justice officials claimed that had nothing to do with preventing her from traveling. Yesterday, she was once again given permission to leave.
“I think more than everybody being excited about seeing Lori, everybody is excited about meeting Salvador,” Berenson's mother Rhoda told CBS this morning. “This is not a political time. This is a time for family, friends and holidays."